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Easy Ways to Enjoy This Winter

Stacks of cozy blankets and strands of twinkling lights, apple cake baking in the oven and drinks beside the fire -- wintertime is made for savoring simple pleasures at home. Whether you prefer trays of treats or hot, aromatic baths, celebrating the season is easy with these ideas.
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Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor

Stacks of cozy blankets and strands of twinkling lights, apple cake baking in the oven and drinks beside the fire -- wintertime is made for savoring simple pleasures at home. Whether you prefer trays of treats or hot, aromatic baths, celebrating the season is easy with these ideas.

Extra candles and twinkle lights. Tea lights, votives, hurricane lanterns, Swedish candle chimes and twinkle lights create a warm and welcoming atmosphere indoors when the weather outside is blustery. For something a little different, fill glass candleholders or jars with sprigs of fresh greenery and nestle strands of tiny lights inside.

A tray of goodies to enjoy in your pajamas. Tea and toast, hot cocoa, a carafe of coffee -- just about anything feels special when placed on a tray. Treat yourself to a few extra minutes in bed on a stormy morning with your very own tray of goodies.

Beautifully decorated gifts. Wrapping a few presents early saves work later on, to be sure, but that stack of pretty gifts also serves as cheerful holiday decor. The classic combo of brown paper and twine is easy to customize with different embellishments and tags.

The scent of something yummy baking. Apple cake, cinnamon rolls, cookies and breads -- some of the most comforting aromas in the world come from the oven. Don't bake? Buy ready-to-bake cookie dough or a scone mix, and you can have freshly baked treats (and the wonderful scents wafting from your oven) in minutes.

Neatly stacked firewood and a fresh wreath on the door. Who's to say you can't enjoy the simple pleasures of a freshly cut stack of firewood just because you don't have a fireplace? I say, if you want firewood, go ahead and get some! A stack looks wonderfully cozy beside the front door. And a simple wreath of fresh greenery will look good all season -- dress it up with a jingling bell or a strand of twinkling lights.

Coming in from the cold. Getting stuck indoors too much in winter can make us cranky. So even if it's really cold, bundle up and get outdoors to enjoy the fresh air, the sound of snow crunching underfoot and the dramatic winter sky. And remember, being outside (even if only for a short while) is what makes coming in to warm up so wonderful.

A new pair of slippers. Stay warm on chilly winter mornings with a pair of slippers on your feet -- boiled wool, felt or slippers with a fuzzy lining are especially good at keeping cold at bay. While you're picking out your own slippers, pick up a few extra pairs for guests and stash them in a little basket by the door.

A batch of hot drinks. Hot cider, mulled wine, tea, chai, cocoa -- take your pick, this season is all about savoring the hot drink of your choice. When friends come over to visit, whipping up a batch of hot drinks or brewing a big pot of tea is a must. Have on hand a selection of go-to add-ins like cinnamon sticks, star anise, sugar cubes and citrus fruits for easy assembly.

A really cozy bed. Think flannel sheets, fluffy throws and layered blankets or a thick duvet. Be sure to have enough extra pillows to make reading in bed comfortable, then light a few candles and snuggle in.

Tiny trees in every room. Even if you have a big Christmas tree in the living room, consider putting tiny living trees in pots in the other rooms of the house. This woodsy, wintry addition brings a bit of the forest indoors and is especially magical for a child's room.

An aromatic bath or shower. Pick up essential oils (eucalyptus and spruce are especially nice this time of year) to scent your tub or shower stall. If you're lucky enough to have access to a sauna, now is the perfect time to put it to use.

Fireside drinks. A nip of port or a cup of rich hot chocolate sipped by the hearth is a wonderful pastime for a winter night. Bring in cuddly throws to warm your lap, light extra candles and turn off the other lighting to get the complete experience.