Sara Godwin

Little Luxuries and Simple Pleasures: Happy Winter Solstice

In Uncategorized on December 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm

It’s cold, it’s wet, and the wind is wild.  Time to stay indoors where it’s warm, dry, and comfortable.  This post wishes to address the comfortable part in particular, and the fact that it can be really hard to crawl out of a cosy bed and face getting dressed in the cold and dark.  One way to make it easier is to have some things to look forward to. Try these:

1. Put your clothes out the night before so you don’t stand shivering in front of the closet, all rumpled and grumpy, trying to decide what to wear.  Take those clothes and toss them in the dryer, and turn it on for five minutes. If getting dressed means wearing a suit or a skirt, toss in your socks, T-shirt, and underwear . What you want is the stuff that touches your skin.

2. Turn on the coffee maker and make a couple of cups of hot water. When it’s done burbling, take one cup and make your coffee or tea.  Take the other cup, and pour it over a clean washcloth.  If it’s steaming, breathe in the steam until the washcloth feels hot, but not scalding. Press the washcloth against your face.  It will shock you how good it feels.

3. Brush your teeth, then your hair. (Don’t worry about what your hair looks like; you’re going to pull a watch cap over it anyway.)  By now, the tea has cooled to potable, so take your first sip. Again, it’s startling how good it tastes.

4.  Here’s the best part: Grab your stuff out of the dryer, and step into toasty  clothes.  The day looks brighter immediately.

5. Have a healthy breakfast you can put together quickly.  If you  make a batch of  hard-boiled eggs Sunday night, you have the breakfast basics for a week. In the morning, you can make a couple of pieces of hot, buttered toast, but I prefer English muffins or crumpets with orange marmalade or lemon curd. It’s one more thing to look forward to. Keep some fruits or vegetables that don’t require preparation in the refrigerator: Tangerines, grapes, pre-sliced jicama, celery sticks, baby carrots, grape, cherry, or pear tomatoes, or shelled edamame (soy beans). Add a small glass of milk, and, of course, your tea or coffee. It’s the ideal breakfast: It tastes good,  it’s filling, it looks pretty on the plate, and you feel smugly virtuous for having had a healthy breakfast.  Smugly virtuous is by no means a bad way to start the day.

There’s one more lovely little luxury my husband arranged when he built our house.  He routed one of the heating ducts into the coat closet.  Pulling on a warm coat, hat, and gloves makes going outside into the cold feel like not such a bad idea.  If you have heated seats in the car, turn the seats and the heater on.  It is both a simple  pleasure and a  great  luxury to be warm when it’s cold outside.

Winter solstice is the shortest day of the year.  From here on out the days will get longer and brighter — and that’s a good thing to look forward to, too.  Happy Winter Solstice!

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