This morning there was snow during my morning commute. Snow! Though it doesn't officially start until December 21, winter is here. This cold, dark, depressing season totally sucks, but here are 10 things to get us through until March.
For most of the country, winter is a total drag. When the streets aren't freezing and the sun setting at 4:23pm, then you have to shovel your yard or walk around in dirty half-melted slush for a week. It's just a miserable, miserable time. Unlike summer, which is completely delightful (except for a few horrible things), winter is a time when we count the few blessings we have and rely on these crutches to keep us from becoming completely suicidal before the spring thaw. Here are some of my favorites.
Nothing gets rid of the chill like a mug full of coffee or hot tea, and nothing satisfies your sweet tooth like a big ol' hot chocolate (with whipped cream, hold the marshmallows, please). Oh, and don't forget about hot toddies, Irish coffees, spiked apple cider, mulled wine, and all those boozy concoctions. We'll have another, please!
Warmer weather is great, but because you are wearing so little there are only so many ways you can express yourself through your wardrobe. Not true in winter. You get to wear sweaters over your shirts, tights over your legs, and boots over your tights! There are jackets and vests and hoods. There are cardigans and turtlenecks and shawls and ponchos! Pile it all on. These heavy items spend half of the year taking up more than half of your closet. You better put them to good use.
Snow, itself, is really annoying. Sure, it's nice and pretty when it's falling down and blanketing everything, but it quickly becomes brown, disgusting, and annoying to remove and/or walk around in. But, there is nothing as glorious as getting an unexpected vacation day due to inclement weather. Even if you have to go into work, if the flakes are falling, people are flaking off at the office, fueled by some atavistic enthusiasm about what is happening in the sky. Enjoy it people, because no matter how hot it gets, you still have to go in.
We love going to the beach, but it takes so many trips to the gym and dietary restrictions to get one's body ready for display that it's almost not worth all the fuss. No such problem when your skin (and fat) can be totally covered by all those wonderful layers that we already discussed. So eat some more left over Christmas cookies and sit down on the couch with an extra helping of mashed potatoes. You're not going to have to worry about counting calories again until the first crocus peeks through the soil.
Nothing against big-budget action films, but for the discerning movie goer, winter is the real best time of the year. Not only do you get a handful of the best studio pics—think Tron and last year's Avatar—but all the arty movies that are up for Oscar contention as well. Right now you can see Black Swan and The King's Speech, and pretty soon we'll be trying to sneak into Blue Valentine, The Fighter, Rabbit Hole, True Grit, and a ton of others. So while Pirates of the Caribbean 18: The Scullery's Scourage, Transformers 8: This Time It's Impersonal, and Men in Black 3: Will Smith's Kids Can't Make All the Money may make your July 4th jam, I'd rather pass the popcorn in December.
Chicken, split pea, minestrone, chicken noodle, Italian wedding, vegetable, cream of mushroom, tomato (with grilled cheese), cream of broccoli, chicken and stars, chicken with rice, matzo ball. Mmmmm...
Layers are one thing, but who doesn't love a good accessory? Sure, summer has the coolest unisex accessory of all, sunglasses, but winter has hats, gloves, scarfs, boots, leg warmers, mittens—the list is endless. And you can't get called out for wearing too many and being overdressed, because not only are they fashionable, but they are necessary. Don't take one off before you leave the house, put two on!
This is the only thing that snow is good for and if you haven't been sledding in the last few years, you're missing out on the greatest wintertime activity. Skiing is too expensive, snowboarding too complicated, curling too Canadian, snowshoeing too ridiculous, ice fishing too Palin, and ice skating too ankle breaky. All you need for sledding is a hill and something slick. Sure a real sled (or tube or toboggan) helps, but you can get by with a garbage can lid or something stupid like that. Climb up the hill and race down. Do it repeatedly until your toes are cold or someone gets hurt and has to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. Either way, that is a beautiful day.
Not the kind on your house, but the kind in your house. Sure a space heater is nice, but there is nothing like the radiating heat and light from a real fire right there in your living room. It's so primordial, so Promethean. It's like we have conquered nature and now are exhibiting it in our own little brick gallery right there under the mantle. What a wonderful feeling to get so hot you have to move away from the fire. Ah, the hearth! Also, if you are rich/lucky enough to have a fire place, we hate you.
Warm Weather Vacations
I know we're trying to celebrate the coldest month of the year right now, but in all honesty, the best thing about it is when you get to leave it for a brief spell. Hello, Miami, Arizona, and Mexico, please welcome us in your ample, steamy bosom. Hello entire Southern Hemisphere, that is currently enjoying summer. Please share some of your tourist destinations with us? Thank you! In the summer you don't really appreciate how nice it is to lie out in the elements with next to nothing on, but when you've been robbed of that joy for months, it is not only amazing but reinvigorating. Sadly you'll have to put on a coat before you get on your return flight, but it's looking forward to and subsequently remembering those few days in your bikini that will keep you from putting a shotgun to your head when the thermometer hits 20 below.
So what do you most like about winter? Feel free to share in the comments below.