Poor, sad winter. It’s always picked last for the Favorite Seasons List. So misunderstood, so lonely. So freakin’ cold.
I recently read an article that has stuck in my mind called “The Norwegian Secret to Enjoying a Long Winter.” It talks about how the mindset you choose is everything.
I admit to being a bit of a winter Scrooge in the past. I’ve complained and whined and bemoaned the seeming eternity of the season. I’ve pouted and stewed in my own pessimism, and browsed all-inclusive vacations in tropical locales I couldn’t afford.
But this year I’m determined to turn over a new leaf (snowflake?), and choose a happy attitude during the upcoming winter season.
So, with those thoughts under my belt, I finally realized that winter actually doesn’t suck that badly.
Here are 28 reasons to not hate it:
1. All the metaphors!
If nothing else, this is a great reason to see some good in winter: life lessons and metaphors!
She had a good sleep that night and and awakened in the morning to find herself and the world transformed. It had snowed softly and thickly all through the hours of darkness and the beautiful whiteness, glittering in the frosty sunshine, looked like a mantle of charity cast over all the mistakes and humiliations of the past. (Anne of Avonlea, L.M. Montgomery)
‘Tis the season of all things sparkly. Sparkles and glitter and all things shiny may be at a minimum the rest of the year, but winter is basically a free-for-all on the sparkles. Have at ‘er, and rejoice.
3. Mittens and scarves
I mean, if we have to be cold, we can at least be stylish. See also: a great DIY gift idea for those of us with the knitting-ability gene. (Not me.)
4. Rosy cheeks
Free blush! Woohoo! (So totally frugal and retro – like how they used to do it back in the day… naturally pink cheeks. Imagine!)
5. Blankets and fireplaces
Is there a cozier cozy setting than this? I think not, my frosty friends. I think not.
6. Hot Drinks
Hot chocolate, tea, fancy coffee, and more. There’s absolutely nothing like drinking a delicious hot beverage on a cold day, feeling it literally warm your insides. Ahhhh. Bonus: it warms your hands, too. Through your gloves, if you’re lucky.
Clickety-click on through here for 50 Hot Drink Recipes.
The thrill of hurtling down a slippery snow-covered hill on high-speed on a small sled while insulated in your puffy snowsuit that protects you like bubble wrap? It’s sheer magic, my friends.
If you’ve never tried it, I feel sorry for you. Perhaps next time you could vacation up here in my neck of the woods in January. 😉
8. Skiing, snowboarding, etc.
I used to go cross-country skiing through the woods behind our house when I was a kid. Excellent way to get some exercise, and super fun, too. Same goes for other beloved winter sports, like downhill skiing and snowboarding. The main required ingredient for making all of these fun is none other than Mr. Winter. Thanks, winter.
9. Playing in the Snow
One of the best parts of winter is just sitting there in a snowbank, in your marshmallow-suit (aka snowsuit), digging tunnels to make a snow fort, building a snowman, making snow angels, or simply catching snowflakes on your tongue.
I have fond memories of all of these in my childhood – there’s just something magical about sitting smack-dab in the quiet of a snowy vignette, even that of your suburban front yard. And the best part is getting to re-do these things with kids, as a grown-up.
10. The Feeling of Coming Inside
Indoors has never felt better than when you step in the door after being out in the snow and cold for a while. The warmth, the smells of home, and the chill slowly seeping out of your bones – it makes you appreciate the roof over your head like never before.
Bonus: when you get to peel off soaking wet snowpants, mitts, boots, etc. after a good long play in the snow. In those times, the feeling of putting on warm, dry socks is basically nirvana.
11. The Shared Christmas Season
You know that sense of general merriment that you feel around this time of year, when the majority of society is celebrating the same holiday at the same time? Our shared humanity is extra noticeable this time of year. It’s a point of commonality that we can share with perfect strangers – always a good thing in a world with enough troubles.
12. Candlelit Dinners (and Breakfasts!)
We’re pretty fond of regular candlelit meals at our house. Winter makes them that much more enjoyable as the lack of daylight hours highlights the coziness that candles add to a meal.
13. No mosquitos
14. Holiday meals
Good food has been synonymous with celebration since the beginning of time, and winter has several key holidays that nail that tradition. And all of the food-lovers rejoiced! Amen.
15. Soups and stews
Total comfort food. I once heard an urban legend that not everyone is a fan of soup. To those people, I say:
16. Roast Beef Dinner
Or chicken, or whatever. The point is that you roast a hunk of meat, pair it with buttery veggies, glorious mashed potatoes and gravy, and merriment ensues. Wintertime roast beef dinners for the win. (And because summer’s too hot to use the oven.)
17. It’s Beautiful
Winter sure does like to show off sometimes – the photo below is evidence. More winter eye-candy here.
18. Hot Baths and Showers
For when you’re chilled to the bone. It’s like being in a warm little cocoon, wrapped in a hug.
19. The Best TV
Our favorite TV shows go on hiatus during the summer so the celebs can jet off to Hawaii and Bora Bora. What a rough life. But it’s back to the grindstone by fall so that we poor peasant folk have deliciously entertaining Netflix binges readily available on chilly nights.
Ahh, the season when staying in is completely socially acceptable. Introvert’s paradise.
21. Ice Skating
A romantic winter sport, if ever there was one. See also: comedic relief if you’re skating with me, and a key player in every holiday romantic comedy.
22. Citrus season
Naval oranges and your undersized cousins, clementines: we salute you. Thanks for being a bright spot in those cold winter months.
23. A Fresh Calendar
New Year’s Eve is for party animals, but New Year’s Day is the best day of the year for planner/calendar types. Day One of a new year! So refreshing, even if you’re the anti-resolutions type.
24. It’s Hygge Season
Hygge makes people happy. Can’t argue with that, folks. Read more about this brilliant concept that the Danish cherish, and tell me you’re not going to immediately put it into action in your life. I mean, seriously.
25. Winter Festivals
If you live in a city, chances are you might have the opportunity to take in a winter festival like Quebec City’s Winter Carnival, Ottawa’s Winterlude and Calgary’s Hot Chocolate Fest. Lots of fun to be had, and look, it’s in winter!
26. Holiday Music + Movies
Mariah crooning her best Christmas songs in the background while you cook dinner (a roast, naturally), then settle in by the fire for a classic Christmas movie before bed. Ahh, yeah. Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Elf are my personal faves.
27. The Silence After a Snowfall
Mesmerizing = walking outside just after a snowstorm and being greeted by the near silence of the whistling breeze and crunch of boots in sparkly snow. Your sense of hearing is heightened, and it sounds like winter.
28. The First Signs of Spring
Because absence makes the heart grow fonder. Amen.