This is Winter

Published on Wed, 11/30/2016 - 8:00am

  Poor winter. It has such a bad reputation. 

“Winter is so long! So cold! Too much snow! How can you stand living in a place where winter lasts for six months?”

I’ve heard it all, and—to be honest—have uttered my fair share of anti-winter comments over the years (that 17-inch snowstorm in April comes to mind), but I’ve come to discover that winter really isn’t the Big Bad Season that everyone makes it out to be. In fact, winter has an impressive resume of good points if you just give it a chance.

Winter is the time to chase comfort. It sounds like a contrary statement for a season that accompanies things like blizzards and frostbite, but the comfort starts when you’re safely tucked inside a cozy house. Thick socks, soft sweaters, warm slippers (if you’re the slipper-sporting type)—these things form the foundation of winter comfort. Add in a reliable furnace, a comfortable chair, and an appropriately placed reading lamp and you’ll be well on your way to experiencing true delight.

We mustn’t forget comfort food. The holidays give us the green light to indulge in our favorite foods, regardless of their nutritional content (or lack thereof), but the comfort foods don’t stop when the holidays end. Winter gives us the excuse to keep on indulging in comfort food staples like macaroni ‘n cheese (please, please, bake it in the oven—it’s winter, remember?), soup, and warm apple cider made of apples from this year’s harvest. Also: chocolate, as much as you want, in whatever form you choose. 

There’s an intrinsic peacefulness about winter that sets it apart from the other seasons, and that’s why winter is such an effective time for thinking. You think as you trudge through knee-deep drifts of snow, you think as you chop firewood, you think as you sit by the fireplace and wait for your frozen toes to thaw. Winter is a reprieve from the crazy hustle-bustle of the other seasons; it’s a time for quiet reflection and rejuvenation. 

It’s also a time for board games, for wrapping gifts in colorful paper, for penning Christmas cards to faraway friends and family. Another highlight of winter: Christmas movies. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen White Christmas or The Miracle on 34th Street—they’re always a delight.  

And winter wouldn’t be winter without books. Not new books, mind you—old favorites. Comforting re-reads are the mainstay of winter because they’re equal parts familiar and fresh, filled with new insights to discover. What better time to experience a favorite book than on a blustery winter’s day? 

This is winter. Try it—you’ll like it.