It’s easy to find things to dislike about winter. There are the obvious ones, like the bone-chilling cold, the ever-present germs, and the dry, cracked skin. There are also the smaller insults, like unexpectedly stepping in a puddle of melted snow that the kids have tracked in.
Still, it’s worth the effort to put a positive spin on winter, since we’re guaranteed to be in it for the next few months (unless your family lives somewhere tropical, in which case, feel free to stop reading – and please accept my heartfelt congratulations and flat-out envy).
If you’re feeling a case of the winter blues coming on, here are some minor yet meaningful up-sides to the season:
All the hot drinks. Thanks to Jack Frost, you have permission to have a winter warm-up break any time with a coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Instead of taking your beverage to go, you should sit and sip it carefully, letting the warmth seep in to your every cell. Your very survival is at stake here.
Warm clothes. Say hello to being covered and comfortable in sweaters, hoodies, long-johns and fuzzy socks. On a rushed morning, winter outerwear is a major time saver. If I still have my pajama top on under my ski jacket as I take the kids to school, who’s going to know? Ditto for the toque to cover up my unwashed hair.
The kids’ excitement. Adults grumble about winter, but kids get genuinely pumped about sledding, building forts, throwing snowballs and making snow angels (an activity requiring you to fully lie down in the snow – only kids would be so courageous). Plus, they come back in with the kind of bright eyes and rosy cheeks that no amount of screen time can provide.
No sunscreen battles. Although wrangling young kids into their winter gear can be a huge challenge, try to remember that at least you’ve got a free pass from slathering sunscreen all over their squirming bodies.
Staying in. When there’s inclement weather, you’ll likely find yourselves spending more time at home. This can lead to some good old-fashioned family fun – we’re talking relaxed dinners, movie nights, board games and dance parties.
Shovelling is the new CrossFit. You don’t have to go to the gym (or feel guilty about not going) because you’re getting a full-body workout from shovelling the driveway on a daily basis!
Holiday lights. I’m grateful to the neighbours who keep their Christmas lights turned on well past New Year’s. It sure is nice to have that extra glow on cold, dark evenings.
Your dear friend, the dryer. Folding laundry is no longer a chore – it’s a privilege. Pull out the clothes out a few minutes before the buzzer so the heat is still emanating from them. Another tip: when giving a baby or toddler a bath, pre-warm their towel in the dryer to prevent them from getting a chill.
Cuddling together for warmth. Nothing’s better than cozying up with your kid under a blanket to read a book, watch TV or just chat about how the day went.
Firing up the fireplace. In addition to its wave of warmth, there’s something soothing about hearing the firelogs crackle and watching the flames dance. Unfortunately, my house doesn’t have a fireplace, so I just dash to the nearest heating vent when I hear the furnace come on.
This winter, resist the temptation to climb into your daughter’s mermaid-tail blanket and hide there until the spring. Try to take an optimistic approach and appreciate the little things that are unique to this time of year. Or, start Googling rental properties in Jamaica. Whatever gets you through the winter.