Hey… wanna know a secret? We heard a rumour, and it’s a little mind-blowing to us here at York Durham Headwaters. We hear—get ready for it—that lots of people out there aren’t the biggest fans of winter!
We know, right?! We make no secret that in YDH, we’ve got some amazing outdoor experiences to turn those “winter blahs” into “winter aaahhhs.” But we’ll concede that sometimes, when it’s dark and cold out, and summer seems like a distant memory, all you want to do is snuggle up at home and get cozy. Okay, that does sound pretty awesome for this time of year when the thermometer dips below freezing and the sun starts to go down at four in the afternoon. So, if you’re one of those people out there that can attest to this rumour we’ve heard, then we’ve got the perfect way to spark joy in the warmth and comfort of your own home, to help get you through those dark, cold winter nights.
Yes, we’re talking about your home. One’s home ought to be one’s sanctuary, after all. Hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to create a home for yourself that reflects who you are and what you love. But we also know that sometimes life gets in the way of these little pleasures, and more important things come up than turning your home into your ultimate joy zone. With the help of Del Clarkson, expert floral designer and owner of A Thing of Beauty, we’ll share with you why finding and creating joy in your own home is important, and we’ll give you some tips for how to spark joy in the dark winter months when you need it most.
Why should we spark joy?
Bringing joy into the home “In the Bleak Midwinter” (as the carol goes), is a longstanding tradition that goes back to the pagan days of Yule. It is at this time of the year that people would bring greenery into the home to brighten up their living spaces until spring came around to lighten the world again. Well, times may have changed, but winter hasn’t, and sparking joy in one’s home is still as important as it was hundreds of years ago.
Yet, as we mentioned, for many people, invoking joy in one’s home often falls second (or third or fourth or… well, you get the picture) to other important demands. This is something that Del Clarkson sees often. “Home for most people is or should be their place of solitude, refuge and peace from a hectic and busy work life,” she says. “For that reason, one should find joy in their home, and sometimes it’s the little things that can make all the difference. Unfortunately, I see all too many people who don’t see the value in creating that haven in their home.”
Del’s business, A Thing of Beauty, is dedicated to bringing greenery into the home with creative planters, window boxes and floral arrangements. She and her expert team help their clients design their vision for a perfect home and bring it to fruition. Whether it’s that front entrance which needs a little something special, or a full-fledged front porch haven for any season, A Thing of Beauty proves that anything is possible. Del’s passion for gardening and designing beautiful looks for all to enjoy was fostered by her father, an incredible man whom she admired as a pillar of all things family. Today, Del and her team specialize in nothing less than making dreams come true.
That being said, sparking joy in your own home doesn’t have to be a huge investment. “Just a small touch that will fill your heart with happiness and joy during the long dark months of winter is sometimes all you need,” Dell says. “In January we are all-of-a-sudden left with an empty home, all the holiday and Christmas décor is put away and the chatter heard during large gatherings of friends and family falls silent which adds to the challenge of coping with the long winter months. A little touch will make all the difference to your mindset and outlook during a time of year that can leave us feeling less than happy and fulfilled.”
How to spark joy in your home with Snüg-Flaking
There are lots of ways you can spark joy in your home. Have you heard of the concept of Hygge? Here at YDH, we’ve come up with our own take on this Danish practice—it’s called Snüg-Flaking. Snüg-Flaking is all about immersing yourself in shared adventures and comforting activities and savoring cherished moments amidst the beauty of nature. Find solace in inviting, relaxing, and serene spaces, embracing a soulful journey that rejuvenates the spirit. Challenge both body and mind on slopes and trails, and revel in the harmony of health and happiness found in life’s simple pleasures.
Snüg-Flaking is comprised of different ways to cherish your moments, your adventures and your connections. The one we think best encompasses the idea of sparking joy is called CozyCradle! This is a concept which embraces comfort. It symbolizes the comforting space at home that celebrates the simple pleasures of winter, such as homemade pies, stews, hot beverages, and moments of quiet reflection. It’s about finding warmth and solace in the coziness of one’s own sanctuary, embracing the simple yet comforting experiences of the season.
Embrace our Snüg-Flaking concept of CozyCradle this winter to spark joy in your home. Start small. Do things that make you feel special. Cozy up on the couch with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate in a mug, perhaps. But not just any mug, your favourite mug. Make the occasion special by lighting a candle or two. This is your favourite mug, after all, and everything you drink out of it tastes that much better. Making dinner? Why not set the table with the good china? You would do anything for your family, so why not make a meal with them that much more of an event? If you’re up for it, crack open that special bottle of wine—you know, the one you’ve been saving for the perfect occasion.
Can’t find a reason to wear that beautiful, snuggly sweater you bought? Let you be the occasion. If it brings you joy, put it on and know that you’re worth it. Then hop into the kitchen and cook that meal you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had the chance to yet. Buy yourself a special hand soap for your powder room, one that will make you smile every time you wash your hands. String twinkle lights in your potted plant to warm your heart. Do it all just because. Joy is an anytime thing. “This is the time to add those little touches that will fill your heart and home with joy,” Del Clarkson reminds us. “January is a month filled with wonderful sales. Why not pick up that cozy blanket or throw cushion covers you loved while you were out holiday shopping for everyone else in your life?”
If you feel you’d like to go a little further to spark that sense of joy, do as the pagans did and bring a touch of greenery into your home. Del says, “Of course, my favourite way to spark joy—pick up that small tropical plant, perhaps an orchid, which are incredibly long lasting. Or even a small bouquet or bunch of brightly coloured tulips every couple of weeks to add life and colour to what can be the dismal months of winter. Blooms do not need to be a large expenditure, even the smallest of bouquets can bring you the joy you need to get you to spring.”
How do you spark joy in your home during the long, cold winter months? Tag us at @VisitYDH on social media and share your tricks and tips. To learn more about A Thing of Beauty and what Del Clarkson and her team can do to bring joy to your home, visit www.athingofbeauty.ca or call (905) 426-0660.
Here is a list of stores that will help fill your home with comfort this winter and help you truly embrace the art of Snüg-Flaking through CozyCradle
- Redefined Finds
- Cottage and Crown
- McMichael Canadian Art Collection Gallery Shop
- Good Vibes on Main
- Twig Gardens & Co
- Little Rae Goods
- Presents Presents Presents
- Blue Heron Books
- Market’s by Dream Day
- Unique Town Boutique
- Aide Bodycare
- The Lemonade Stand
- That Place on Queen
- The Welders Wife
- Gather Good Things
- Concession 6 Studio