Warming ways in winter

BOOK IT IN: Host a book club at your home for a stimulating evening.
BOOK IT IN: Host a book club at your home for a stimulating evening.

'TIS the season for brisk walks, warming foods and cosy evenings.

For many, winter is a time to restock and replenish.

We tend to hibernate, even though our country is among the warmest, with daytime temperatures rarely dipping below 10 degrees.

There are a number of activities we enjoy during the cooler months.

Christmas in July has become a popular event for many friends and families.

It originated in the United States in the early 1950s, where Christmas in August was created in Yellowstone National Park to accommodate a performance of Handel's Messiah.

Here, Christmas in July began in our coldest month as a way of connecting with others, usually with a warming, traditional meal.

Turkeys may be in short supply but try pork and beef as a substitute.

Slow-cooked lamb with rosemary and onions is another warm, hearty meal to serve. The beauty of marking Christmas outside the traditional season is the absence of pressure to exchange gifts.

But you can still make your own crackers and decorations to give the event a seasonal touch.

Winter is a great time to catch up on reading. Thousands of Aussies belong to books clubs, another good way to connect with friends and acquaintances in the colder months and to keep your mind active.

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Most local councils have a list of some of the book clubs in your town.

It's tempting to stay inside when the mercury dips low, however, it's our peak season for team sports, which is a good way to connect with community.

Most districts have rugby union, league, soccer and touch football clubs to suit all ages.

Further afield, the Snowy Mountains is the place Australians go for skiing holidays, with the oldest ski fields and largest resorts.

Mount Mawson is popular for skiers in Tasmania, with an elevation of 1250 metres.

Closer to home, your garden still needs nurturing in the winter months.

Winter is the time to build frames around plants that may be affected by frost.

For a splash of winter colour, plant polyanthus, a pretty, winter-flowering plant with blossoms of pink, cream, yellow and blue.

Be inspired to keep active, physically and mentally, as our land cools.