The holidays with their festivities (and exhaustion) are complete, and in the Midwest, we've entered the extended four-month stretch of winter sans glitter and gumdrops. We scowl and give this time of year ugly nicknames like perma-gray. Some of us hold our breaths until the green blades of grass break their way through the frost. Others declare their distaste often and loudly and still others flee the temperatures for warmer beaches and pastures.
Unusually so, I am looking forward to the winter this year. Here's what I'm celebrating. Add your favorites in the comments.
1. Something hot to sip
Soup, hot cocoa, tea, or a strong cup of jo. The comfort of a warm beverage or meal is even that much sweeter in the winter months. Better still, a coffee date with your BF on a snowy Saturday or a long winter weekend spent making homemade soup with your honey can't be beat.
2. The Healthy Glow
Ingrained in my imagination are the images of rosy-cheeked grins of each of my children as they come back inside after hours of romping in piles of snow. The first inhale of fresh, cold air is exhilarating. The blush and bright eyes that result also make the sweetest pictures, on camera or in our memories.
3. The childlike fun of snow
The possibilities are endless with the gift of this new medium. We've got skiing and snow forts, ice sports and snowball fights, snowmen and snow angels. Indulge in the joy of being the first to put footprints in the new fallen snow!
4. Observing the patterns of nature
What creature made those footprints? It's a daily case of who done it. The animals brave enough to thrive in the winter temps are deserving of their own attention. Our fan favorites include cardinals and black squirrels.
5. The Awesome, Deafening Sound of Stepping in Snow
Have you had the experience of being somewhere totally silent and hearing your own crunch in the snow? It's so loud and clear as boots meet and compress the white stuff below. Take a walk in the early morning snow and listen carefully to your own soundtrack.
6. The Brightness of the Reflection
Though we have less daylight to soak in during this stretch of the year, we do have the reflection off the white /gray of the snow. I'm grabbing my sunglasses more now that I have in months! The brightened hue can put a fresh coat of beauty on every shape and object. And when the sun goes down, you can see the moon lighting its own trail of brilliance. It's a sight to be seen (take that summer!).
7. Fireplaces find their purpose for being
If you were that home buyer who just had to have a fireplace, now is the time of the year that you get to prove your love. I can't resist a fireside book and conversation. Winter weather brings on the sense of nowhere to go, nothing else to do but be here right now together.
8. Layering, Bring it on
Pile on the blankets and put on an extra coat. Layers of all kinds are welcome this time of year. No time to style your hair today? Wear than knit cap and blame it on the weather. The layers of winter are forgiving on the extra indulgences of the holidays and allow for extra wiggle room, unlike the beach bodies of the warm weather.
9. Movie and Series Watching is Accepted and Shared
If you have a TV series that you want to binge watch or a list of must-see movies, winter is the perfect time to make yourself cozy and enjoy the entertainment. Friends are talking about the award winners as well as their favorites that were left off the nominations. Take note of how you can catch a great story from the comfort of your own couch.
10. Focus on indoor
Winter brings us and keeps us indoors. It's the perfect time to bust out that extended day (or week) organization project you've been wanting to do. You can pick up an instrument, learn a new language, get back in touch with long-lost pals, all knowing that there's nothing else warm and beautiful that you should accomplish.
Need I say more? You're winning me over, winter.