• Elisabeth Fondell

Create Your Own Winter Cheer Club: One Small-Town’s Quest to Combat the Winter Blues


Photo by Elisabeth Fondell


The 2,700 residents of Caledonia, Minnesota can handle cold weather. Many look forward to winter activities like snowmobiling, ice fishing, and sledding all year. Those that don’t enjoy snow look to basketball games, holiday parties, and indoor concerts for entertainment. But with the pandemic continuing to limit social engagements, these rural Minnesotans were facing a long winter of boredom. That is, until Amanda Ninneman created a new way for residents to pass the time.


Amanda, co-owner of The Wired Rooster Coffee Shoppe, sensed that spirits were low going into the coldest part of the year. The town needed a pick-me-up. And so the Winter Cheer Club was born.


Community members responded with enthusiasm, signing up for the Winter Cheer Club’s 10-week subscription. Each week, participants receive an envelope filled with 4-6 small activities and fun tidbits either adult or kid-focused. Some activities highlight local businesses. Others encourage connectedness and community spirit. All provide a bit of much-needed cheer.


As participants tear into their envelopes each week, they may find poems, crossword puzzles, a recipe from the Mainspring Community Cookbook, origami, haiku writing activities, or temporary tattoos, to name just a few of the goodies.


You may ask—what does this have to do with you? Consider this inspiring story some encouragement. Gather a group of people and commit to exchanging mail or small treats to bring cheer. Mail each other favorite recipes or books. Start a jigsaw puzzle club. Construct a crossword puzzle and share it. Get creative! In this time when too many things have transitioned to virtual, don’t forget the joy of receiving something tangible in the mail.


If there’s one thing we know, it’s that people need to stay connected to get through the winter blues.

Creative Fold is a small, women-owned creative agency specializing in graphic design, content creation, industrial design, product development, and manufacturing. Follow us on Facebook or Linkedin for creative inspiration.


To read more about Elisabeth’s time visiting Caledonia & surrounding Houston County, visit her website.

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