January 26, 2020

What to Love About Winter

“What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”

Winter isn’t everyone’s favourite season. In fact, I live with a man who moans and groans about it. Every. Single. Day. Here in the northern hemisphere (Canada), winter is officially three months long. However, the cold temperatures and snow last longer than that. Where I live (Prince Edward Island), we often say there’s no spring. We simply skip it and go straight to summer. In other words, winter seems to last a long time.

I like winter. As my small corner of the earth falls into peaceful slumber, I find myself with more time to relax and simply be. I like the shorter days; the long daylight hours in June make me jittery. Call me crazy, but there are lots of positives to winter. In fact, I’m going to share a list of things I love about it right now.

The air – Step outside in January or February and take a deep breath. You can smell the cold. It’s a fresh, clean, crisp and vivid smell that goes straight to your lungs and makes you feel alive.

Comfort food – This is the time of year I love to prepare roast anything as well as soups and stews. I like baking bread and biscuits. In the summer, people complain it’s too hot to cook. Not in the winter. It’s the time to fill the house with hearty food smells.

Brilliant sunshine – Winter has its fair share of gray days but don’t forget the ones where the sun dances on the snow to create millions of sparkling diamonds.

Wool mittens – I love mittens. I have two pairs my sister gave me that are made from recycled sweaters. When I go outside, they keep my hands warm and dry. (Dear sister: Please give me another pair of these next Christmas.)

Books and Netflix – This is the time of year I curl up and read the most books. It’s also the only season that I watch any amount of TV, usually Netflix (current favourites: Call the Midwife and Sex Education).

Steamy mugs of hot chocolate – One of my favourite beverages. It makes me warm. Happy. And winter is the best time to drink it.

Knit socks – Every Christmas, I ask my mother for two pairs of her hand-knit socks. Winter is the best time to wear them, and I do, every day. Actually, I wear them year-round because in the summer, they serve as slippers.

Storm days – Come on. Who doesn’t love a good snowstorm? There’s nothing better than sitting inside with a blanket, a book, and a drink while the wind howls and the snow blows. For you A-type personalities, look at it as enforced downtime.

Heated blankets – My husband invested in heated blankets for each of us. We keep them on the reclining love seat in our upstairs den. On a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, I turn my blanket on and read, write or watch TV. Toasty.

No mosquitoes or black flies – I can take a walk on a sunny winter’s day and not have to think about those pesky varmints dive-bombing me as they satisfy their bloodthirsty urges. Even though I don’t use chemical-based repellents, I don’t have to muck around with special blends of lemon, eucalyptus, lavender, cinnamon, citronella or tea tree.

Sweaters – I’m a sweater girl. I own more sweaters than blouses. I love their cozy warmth. Especially turtlenecks. This is the season I can break them out.

Snow – It’s white. Clean. I love snow. I also like to shovel it. Done with the right mindset, shovelling can be meditative. It’s also good exercise, but as with any exercise, proper technique is important.

Arts and crafts – If that’s your thing, what better time of year? It’s not like you’re going to be stretching out on the beach. This is the time to knit, paint, sew, quilt, or engage in another hobby you enjoy.

Southern vacations – In Canada, we have long winters, but we also have beautiful summers. In the warmer seasons, I stay put. However, a week or two in the sunny south between January and March is a nice break and something to look forward to.

Helps the land – Winter snow is good for the water tables and protects crops like berries and fruit. The cold also helps to keep harmful bugs and bacteria at bay.

Snow angels – Only grouches will argue that it’s no fun to drop in the snow and make snow angels. Reclaim your inner child!

Cozy fires – Who doesn’t love to sit in front of a crackling fire, in the dark, sipping a beverage?

Winter sports – Pond skating, skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding. These are fun, healthy activities that you can’t do any other time of the year.

Slower pace – There’s something about winter that makes me want to hibernate. Of course, there’s always lots to do, but the colder weather tends to keep me inside more than at other times of the year. It’s the time of year to slow down. This introvert thinks that’s a wonderful thing.

See? There are lots of things to love about winter. However, if you still count yourself as a member of the Winter Haters Club, take solace in the fact that spring always returns. And if nothing else, winter makes you appreciate the other seasons a whole lot more.