It’s January. And Cold.

After the festivities and frivolities of the December holidays pass, we’re left with… well, still winter. And I like winter, truly I do. But the below zero temps and wind chills, cars that are grouchy about starting, and perpetually chapped hands have a way of turning my thoughts toward greener seasons.

Ah, well. It’s the circle of the seasons, and I need to remind myself that days when exposed skin can freeze in less than ten minutes just make me appreciate summer all the more! But the kids have been a bit grumpy as of late. Ice skating at the pond was cancelled due to -17 degree wind chills. Sledding isn’t possible without winter gear that would tolerate an arctic trek. And so we bundle up, stay indoors and wait it out.

If you’ve been feeling the cabin fever lately, it’s time to think outside the (ice)box. When television gets a bit boring and you’ve had all the video games and reading you can handle, muster some creativity and make the most of the indoors!

Cold weather days were made for family game night. Monopoly, checkers, Candyland, Battleship, or any other favorite board game is just waiting to be taken out and played with! Whip up some hot cocoa or Irish coffee and have at it! Surprise the kids and come home with a new family favorite. Most board games can be purchased for $15-20, and that’s far cheaper than a night at the movie theater! Or, make it a theme night. Start out by figuring out whodunit as you make your way around the Clue board game, and follow it up with a big bowl of popcorn and a viewing of the spectacularly witty and comedic ’80s movie based on the game and brought to life by Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Martin Mull and crew.

Looking for a bit more activity? Leave the kids a note after school challenging them to an evening of XBOX games. Who’s better at dancing a bit of B-52’s choreography, your husband or your kids?? I suggest having the video camera at the ready.

Cold weather is also a prime time to kick it old school. Puzzles, anyone? They’re not just for the grandparents! Cards, Bingo and a host of other oldies but goodies can lead to ’round the table conversation and laughter.

However you beat the winter blues, rest assured that spring is on the way. Consider this a time to slow down a bit and savor time spent in closer quarters with loved ones!

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