In all honesty, I absolutely dread winter.
In the same way that birthday's has become a constant reminder of my mortality (I was born on April 1st, so it also doubles as an ongoing joke), Christmas reminds me of how heavily consumerism has swallowed up the sense of joy that surrounds the holiday seasons. Like come on, you know something's up when Amazon Gift Cards replaces home knit sweaters.
Aside from the whole spiritual aspect of Winter, most of us can agree that winter quickly loses its wonder. Especially in Pennsylvania. A certain degree of hatred for snow slithers in as we grow up. More and more often we start seeing it as a roadblock to our daily lives, weighing down the natural rhythm that just to come about as we moved through our days. Snow becomes gray slush, sickness, and slip hazards - a huge swing from the snowmen, sleds, and snow angels that peacefully and graciously ruled our childhoods.
But enough about what I hate about winter. Even this Grinch has a heart.
Like everything in life there's always stars that light the way.
Here's the list from Meh to AYYYY.
When you finally decide to wear something besides sweats, sweaters, and hoodies. You'll find that dressing to impress takes on another note. Fall and Winter fashion is majestic in it's own right. Something about scarves and puffy jackets...
2. Hot Showers
The feeling when that warm water touches your skin after a tough day is something that really gets accentuated in the winter. Your problems literally melt away and the only thing you can think about is how damn good it feels. -bites fist-
3. Holiday Spirit
Find a group of close friends and plan a holiday dinner, cut out the excessive drinking, but keep all of the festive atmosphere. Forget the complications of Secret Santa! The holiday isn't about gifts, it's about feeling. Bring back memories, let nostalgia run free, let aspiration sour high, don't forget to love and support one another!
4. Spending Time Indoors
Winter is probably one of the few times it's socially acceptable to stay in doors and just snuggle up with a book. Forget the beach, forget the bars, forget the parties. Grab a book, some tea or hot coca and just read. You earned some alone time after a long year. Let them go out and freeze.
With everything slowing down you come to realize a few things: just as you can't control the weather, there are things in your life you just can't control. Winter pushes you to accept that fact a bit more, and once you accept it, you'll find new opportunities, memories, and emotions.
6. Appreciation for the other Seasons
You never know what you had until it's gone. There's nothing like the passing of the seasons to make you feel alive (Life is Beautiful after all). The transition from crisp Fall to slumbering Winter reminds you of the passage of time, inevitable change, and, strangely enough, that life is made up of cycles. You never know if when you'll find yourself in the same place as a different soul. Heraclitus said it best:
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”
The other super important final that comes in Winter is self administered. Whether it comes after a few drinks, or as a daily routine, self-evaluation is a stable of the Winter months.
8. Winter Break
Ahhhh yes, the time to go come or go on vacation with friends...
Just go home. You can save the adventure and excitement of a vacation for Spring Break.
9. The Imagery
If you ever find yourself up at an ungodly hour, and wander the streets during snowfall you find yourself gifted a different world. This is especially true during winter. Busy intersections become beautifully haunting, silenced of the busy traffic that tends to roar through it and replaced by a natural silence. If you're ever fortunate enough to see dawn's rosy fingers touch a fresh layer of snow you'll find yourself briefly caught in true paradise.
10. Under Covers
Wanting to sleep is one thing that will honestly never change. Be it trying to cut down the days and hours till Christmas morning, or finding sanctum under warm covers, it's undeniable, Winter and sleeping go hand in hand.