Like most children, I loved playing out in the snow. Embedded in my memory is the time my brother and I came in from the cold to a warm kitchen where my mother greeted us with hot cocoa. It was heaven.
Now that I am a mother, I want my son to have that same feeling of warmth, sweetness, and comfort when he comes in from the cold.
I make sure my pantry is stocked with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Sometimes I whisk the chocolate into warm milk that’s been heating on the stove, other times I just heat a cup of milk in the microwave. But either way, there is always hot chocolate to greet him when he comes through the kitchen door out of breath, cheeks rosy and snow dripping off his clothes.
When he has a friend over I take it to the next level with fresh from the oven cookies – sometimes made from scratch, other times from store-bought dough. I find that as long as they’re warm and fresh, kids don’t care who makes the batter.
It’s not really what’s served after winter activities that are important – maybe it’s popcorn or cheese crackers with warm cider – it’s about whatever works for your family.
It’s the repetition that creates the tradition.
Just recently we created another great winter memory. During one long snowy weekend, we watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This was exciting because even though my husband and I watch it every year, this was the first time our son was old enough to watch it with us. Each evening, we’d settle in early to the family room with our various drinks and a big batch of homemade popcorn with lots of freshly melted butter and watch an installment. We were all really sad when the trilogy ended. We could live in Middle Earth.
We’ve spent similar weekend nights watching a series of a film: The Hobbit, Iron Man, Despicable Me, Jurassic Park / Jurassic World and Indiana Jones. It’s a great way to spend a family weekend, although do yourself a favor and skip the last Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park 3.
There are so many ways to create happy memories. I’d like to add more snowshoe outings and try ice skating as a family. I hope these too become part of our winter traditions. And if they do, I will pack a thermos full of hot cocoa and bag full of homemade cookies to take along with us.
I’d love to hear about some of your winter family traditions in the comments – especially for those who don’t live in a snowy climate.