Photo Credit: Rosanna Bowles
The days are short, the darkness is deep, and winter is here. Heading in to the holidays, what is this time of year about? Staying warm, coming together, and bringing more light into the brief, bitter heart of winter become our most important priorities during this time of year. You can interpret the notion of “bringing light” metaphorically, but illuminating the days can also have a very literal meaning as well. Take a look at these ideas for how to bring light to your life in the winter:
Build a Fire
The benefit of a fire comes in its double purpose: it provides both light and heat. Kindle a fire in your hearth before dinner or on a blustery afternoon. Even though the weather has turned cold, if you have an outdoor fire pit, by all means, bundle up and build a blaze outside! Bring hot cocoa or hot toddies and let the wonderful smell of wood smoke seep into your clothes as you stare at the stars. Maybe it’s just because the cold makes everything seem sharper, but the stars always seem to have a little extra glow this time of year—they’re “winter bright.”
Floor and table lamps give off a beautiful glow that overhead lighting simply cannot emit. During the winter, increase your lamp count to add warmth to your home atmosphere. Here are a few options: buy a few inexpensive lamps, short ones to set atop tables and floor lamps for greater illumination. Or, move lamps you already own from infrequently used rooms (guest rooms, the basement) to high traffic areas like the living room and kitchen.
Candles provide the most soulful light of all. They’re inexpensive, portable, and look as beautiful outdoors as they do inside. In the winter, I place a few large candles in glass hurricanes outside my front door. The candlelight makes guests feel welcomed before they even cross my threshold. I also love scattering small votive candles all around. There’s only one rule to keep in mind about candles—always remember to check your space and blow them out before leaving the house or going to bed.
String Holiday Lights
This is the time of year for outdoor holiday lights! Despite the effort required to put them all up, every year after we finish I feel like the end result is worth it. Holiday lights create a magical brightness that stands out in the night. And if you’re able to glimpse them adorning trees or bushes outside from your own windows, that magical winter feeling translates indoors, too.
Light and love go hand in hand. Bring both into your life this winter.