Like most years, this Christmas we rented a house in the foothills of the Alps that sleeps the entire family. All 14 of us. We hoped for snow, but to start with, there wasn't any. So we "made do" with walks in the forest nearby. The kids played hide and seek, chase, they collected twigs, sticks, pines, deer skulls and other forest debris. They discovered sheets of ice, secluded ponds, wild animals, hideouts and felled logs. Everywhere they looked, a new adventure.
Christmas came and went. The kids were excited about their presents, but they were so much more, so very muchly much more happy (Dr Seuss, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?) to be outside. Even more so when the snow came. Suddenly it was all, "Do you want to build a snowman?" (said in Frozen voice) and sledging, and snowball fights and igloos. Bobby came inside one day shouting: "Mama, i've got icicles on my head!" To him, the fact that the snow was blowing sideways outside was coolest thing EVER. Way cooler than the Arctic Lego truck he'd received the day before. And the snowball fights with uncle Niels, who he loves so much he refers to him has "my twin" Fuggeddaboutit! These kind of thrills just aren't for sale at ToysRus. So when you're next at home and stuck for something to do, just remember outside is free.
Top tip: You don't have to wait for the sales. You can play outside is free all year round.
Top quote: "... and then I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?" Vincent Van Gogh
What you need:
Short public service announcement: Massive shout out to Ben Lieberson, who first introduced me to the concept of outside is free. I heart #outsideisfree.