Bring in the Green

By Katie Mitchell, Tyrone Township Branch

It can be hard to appreciate our natural world in the middle of winter. It’s dark and cold, and the holidays can be stressful. However, nature can be calming and healing and is a great antidote to holiday stress. Here are ways that you can bring some green into your season.

There’s a Swedish saying that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. Gear up with all your warm woolies and take a walk in your neighborhood or at your local nature center. Blandford Nature Center, opens a new window and Howard Christensen Nature Center, opens a new window are two of my favorites.

To enjoy the outdoors a little closer to home, try some outdoor crafts, like snow candles, opens a new window. Dig a hole in the snow, add a wick, then pour melted wax into your hole. When the wax hardens, check out your wild candle shape! This works best in loads of snow, and you still might need to scrape a little dirt off of the bottom.

Follow the decorating methods of Ye Olden Days: bring in some evergreens! I use cedar boughs from my backyard and hang them over doorways or pop them in vases. Christmas tree farms also have garlands and wreaths for sale to add a festive air to your home.

In addition to bringing the outside in, try bringing your décor outside. Trim a tree outdoors with strings of popcorn and cranberries and other goodies for critters.

Celebrate the return of the light after the Winter Solstice with lots of candles and lights. Beeswax and soy candles give off less smoke, so try for those.

Make a pomander, opens a new window. Stick whole cloves into an orange and roll in ground cinnamon. Hang up or stick in a bowl for a spicy, delightful scent. Alternately, simmer holiday spices on the stove and let your home soak up the scent. Both of these are healthier choices than chemical air fresheners.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy nature when it’s cold and snowy?