Winter brings a stillness; a deepening darkness that shortens the days. You can almost feel it in the air, a quiet hush that wraps around you like a blanket tempting you to slow down and hibernate. It’s easy to become lulled into a solitary lifestyle, to be enticed by the calm and quiet and let’s face it, once you’ve wrapped yourself up like a burrito with all the blankets and doonas in the house, you’ll be content to wait out these few short months inside your cocoon until spring arrives.
But winter brings more than just darkness and plummeting temperatures; winter brings a sense of intimacy and tranquility, the sensation of flannelette sheets and jumpers two sizes too big, of candlelight and crackling fires and hot mugs cupped in cold hands; a cosy togetherness to share with family and friends.
So suit up in your comfiest of clothes, gather all your friends and take a look at some of the ideas below because there really is no need to let the winter blues hinder your social life.
Luckily here in Queensland, the cool seasons mean perfect blue skies and an average daytime temperature of around 22 degrees which makes spending time outdoors in the sunshine a pleasant change from the sweltering heat of summer. Create an exuberant picnic in your very own backyard by laying out a mountain of rugs, cushions and blankets on the lawn that will take you and your guests through a fine and sunny winters’ day to the chilly rawness of evening, but make sure to light the fire early on to build up some heat before night descends. There really is nothing more wondrous than enjoying the serenity of shared stories, relaxed silences, roasting marshmallows and calm companionship when the crisp air of winter is felt on your face and the glow of a sizzling fire is near scorching your shins as you try to get closer to the warmth.
You may not agree, but winter in Australia sure does offer some amazing sporting events to watch that will warm your blood on a bitter night. Even better, there’s no reason to leave the comfort of your own home to catch all the action; add some extra seating, bean bags and blankets and make sure to prep that voice box for when the game begins because things are sure to get heated. Team spirit is non-negotiable so slap on that Maroon jersey, beanie, socks and scarfs and when your mates arrive, you’ll be on your feet in no time.
Good Friends and Good Food
When winter cravings hit and all you want to eat is some deliciously hot wholesome foods, it’s guaranteed you’re not the only one seeking a home cooked meal. Why not cook up a huge batch of pasta and make it an event! Decorate your dining table with touches of earthy tones and warm whites with a splash of gold or bronze and add some rustic charm with organic centrepieces of wood and native winter greenery. Candles are a must and throw blankets of different textures hanging from each chair will create that romantic and inviting atmosphere that family and friends won’t want to leave.
And really, there’s no reason too when cooler months allow you to embrace all the activities you wouldn’t necessarily do at any other time; bring out the board games, card games and puzzles and tap into that inner kid. Host a movie night or marathon and no, not in the exercise sense (although it could be, if you were that way inclined) but more so the kind that involves everything in excess; hours of TV series, talking, lounging and comfort food. If you’re not into movies or shows, assemble your mates and hold a gaming championship – Mario Karts anyone? And even though everyone complains, going through old photo albums and reminiscing on all the embarrassing stories behind them is secretly a favourite pastime and a perfect way to end an evening.
Winter is indulging in the treasured moments of comfortable familiarity, cosy charm and endless contentment so bundle yourself in your favourite woolly socks and sweaters, send out that invitation to friends and family, and embrace this years’ cool season.