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How to Enjoy the Winter Months

Updated on October 24, 2012
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As a lifelong New Englander, I hear the same moaning in grocery store lines, at parties, and along the soccer sidelines come September and October...

"I don't know how I am going to get through another winter."

It never ceases to amaze me how many people hate winter. Of course, there is SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is the depression that hits when there isn't enough daylight and sunshine. I get that, but what it is about winter that makes it the most hated season around the globe?

I have no idea, because I love winter. I love all the seasons in fact, but I hold winter in special fondness. I was born in February, so that might have something to do with it. However, I'm convinced that if people could just see winter the way I do, they would love it too!

Prepare for the cold

If your body doesn't like the cold- prepare! Line up a professional snow plow, install a wood stove, get a cord of wood delivered, and invest in a couple of electric blankets. Here are some things you should have on hand that make the winter months easier on the body.

Clothing
House Supplies
Misc
Down Jacket
Electric Blankets
Snow Plow
Several Pairs of Gloves
Wood Stove
Neighbor to get your mail
Good Quality Wool Socks
Space Heater
A Take Out Delivery Menu
Snow Boots
Air Blockers for below doors
Car Scraper with the Glove Attached
Long Underwear (thermal)
Hot Cocoa Mix (with marshmallows)
Heavy Duty Snow Shovel
Fleece Sweatshirts
Movies!
Remote Car Starter
Scarf that is Circular
Insulated Thermos
Hand/Foot Warmers
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Our street right as a big snowstorm began.Eden just having come down a LARGE hill.Enjoying the beach in March.Our yearly weekend getaway to Woodloch Resorts in January.
Our street right as a big snowstorm began.
Our street right as a big snowstorm began. | Source
Eden just having come down a LARGE hill.
Eden just having come down a LARGE hill. | Source
Enjoying the beach in March.
Enjoying the beach in March. | Source
Our yearly weekend getaway to Woodloch Resorts in January.
Our yearly weekend getaway to Woodloch Resorts in January. | Source

Get a flu shot

It is a no-brainer; winter will be a lot more enjoyable if you don't get sick. To avoid it, take the following advice:

1. Get a flu shot.
2. Take a multi-vitamin.
3. Start zinc the minute you feel a cold coming on.
4. Wash your hands regularly.
5. Get lots of sleep.
6. Carry Purell with you when you go out.

It doesn't guarantee that you won't get sick, but it will significantly lessen the chances of a virus nabbing you.

Continue to get outside

I know I know, there's ice and snow and mud and freezing temperatures. But if you have the right clothing, you can continue to enjoy the outdoors throughout the winter. Despite the old wives' tales that warn of sickness if you get chilled, the truth is that colds and flus survive better in the winter months because everyone is packed indoors!

Whenever you can, take a walk to enjoy the cold, crisp air. Here are some ways to make it more enjoyable.

1. Bring tissues. Your nose will run (which if you have a cold, isn't a bad thing!)
2. Always wear the right gear so you stay warm.
3. Avoid beaches and other windy areas. Opt instead for the woods or inland, where the wind is less severe.
4. Invest in some hand or foot warmers.
5. Bring a thermos full of cocoa.
6. Take a camera along to capture winter's beauty.

We also continue to use our outdoor fire pit in the winter. Huddled around with hot cocoa or tea, enjoying a roaring fire on a cold night can be quite romantic.

Get away to a snowy lodge

You may start to appreciate winter more if you celebrate it with a weekend away. Rather than escaping to a warm beach (where surely you will come home and be more depressed than ever), go away to a mountain lodge. Most places have oodles of outdoor snow activities, roaring fireplaces, and indoor pools and saunas after a long day of skating or skiing.

Herrsching, Little Castle
Herrsching, Little Castle | Source
Source

Snow-ins: they aren't always bad

Inevitably, at least once a year, cold weather residents get snowed in. Have a plan so you can enjoy this opportunity to stop and rest. Have a bunch of old movies on hand, board games, candles, and those hot water bottles you can fill up with boiling water and take to bed with you. Get a stack of books from the library, collect recipes you've always wanted to try, and don't forget to go sledding!

Besides, there are lots of fun things to do in the snow...

1. Build a snowman.
2. Build a snow fort.
3. Make maple syrup snowballs.
4. Fill up water balloons, add food coloring, let them freeze outside, and then pop the balloon. Colored ice balls! (Use for decoration or just for the sheer fun of it).

Winter recipes are usually cheaper

Winter is a great time to explore your culinary skills. Oftentimes, the fresh produce is expensive (like berries, tomatoes, etc.) but there are plenty of things that are less expensive too!

Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, grapefruits, cranberries, pumpkin, root vegetables, spinach, and others are cold-weather crops. You can experiment with soups and stuffings and pies and breads.

There is nothing better than a cold winter day with a warm pot of soup.

Source

Try a winter sport

There are a host of athletic activities you can do in the winter...

  • Ice skating
  • Ice hockey
  • Downhill skiing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoes
  • Sledding

Start your gardening in the basement

If you are craving dirt and green seedlings, set up a little garden area in your basement with one of those fluorescent lamps. You can start your seedlings in February, so when it is time to garden, you will have the joy of starting all your flowers and produce from seed.

Join a YMCA

If you just NEED that sense of warm summery-ness, join the YMCA...preferably one with an indoor pool and sauna. You can exercise all those stiff joints and feel the joy of sweating, and maybe it will alleviate your incessant whining about the long winter months.

Get into the holiday spirit

Winter is the home to some of the most enjoyable holidays; Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine's Day, and even St. Patrick's Day (which is right at the end of the season). Get into the spirit with the other lesser known holidays like President's Day, Martin Luther King Day, and New Years. In fact, when you line up the four seasons, winter might be the winner for the most holidays!

Embrace the change

For those of us who live in a climate with seasons, the winter makes all the others so much more enjoyable! People who live in picture perfect weather year round become ungrateful. (I realize I may get flogged for that statement). But how sweet is the blossoming spring, the buds on the trees, and the little ducklings waddling behind their mama, as the last of the snow melts away?

Have you ever noticed how many children's books write about the seasons? No one writes about the constant 365 days of 72 degree weather. There is nothing magical about that. Watch a Maple tree go from blooming to bright orange to frozen under ice...and then come back again. It is incredible.

Embrace winter. It is 90 days. Three months of cold, peaceful, dormant silence in nature. We all could take a little advice from the season that tells us to stop and rest. And if people would just stop complaining about the cold, they'd see that it isn't really that long at all.

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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      I will have to enjoy the "balloon ice balls" this winter. What a great idea! Fine Hub. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      It is amazing how the weather impacts our daily lives. I grew up with harsh winters. I loved them but they were so long. I moved south to get away. The first week I was here a new neighbor suggested I see some sights. I said it was a good idea to show the kids around before we got shut in for the winter. The neighbor thought I was from another planet. Great hub!

    • collegatariat profile image

      collegatariat 4 years ago

      Hailing from Colorado, I know exactly what a snow-in is, and how much fun a good blizzard can be. To my shame I have yet to get on a pair of skis, but winter sports can be the best. And nothing beats a down comforter and a pile of blankets on a cold winter night.

      Thanks for all of the fun ideas! Some of them will definitely be put to use over the next few months.

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      A beautiful hub really. I enjoyed last winter and the reason behind it was my passion for photography. I was waiting for the snow to fall, and had hours of walk through the snow, and captured some beautiful pictures. Especially when there is mist and snow, it feels like a dreamland. I also love the white colour, where it makes everything look beautiful, the icicles, the frost on the grass and trees, it is truly beautiful.

      Thank you for sharing your ideas. Voted up, beautiful and sharing!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Well the start to your winter is starting with a hurricane/nor'easter bang, isn't it? :) I hope you're staying safe up there. I never used to mind winter until I moved into our current house - it's a drafty, cold place and we're surrounded by water on 3 sides. Brrr. HOWEVER, now I LOVE winter again: we got a wood stove. That alone is like the BEST INVENTION, EVER! We use it to cook with, too and the heat is tantalizing. I take out all my fun, bulky sweaters, use the crock pot, saddle up with blankets and make potpourri. Splendid! Now, all the seasons are my favorites, hehe. Awesome hub!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Winter in South Africa is from May to August, four seasons, and I was born in June thus my reason for the fondness of winter now that I am living in Croatia the winters are harsh but have adjusted very well to the climate. I now look forward to winter and agree with your Hub thanks

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 4 years ago from India

      I love winter and i enjoyed it very much on my 13 years life in Ukraine. But one thing to remember is that winter temperatures are not only cold, but they can be very dangerous too. This is a fantastic hub and i enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing. Rated and shared.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      What a wonderful hub and I am right there with ya...I LOVE the winter.. I'm from Texas so the cold crisp air is welcomed more and more every year after the long scorching summers... One thing I am sad about is the lack of snow.. we are lucky to get ANY snow at all.. if it does snow, its usually not even enough to cover the ground... sometimes we will get a few inches but honestly, I would love a few feet.. I would LOVE to be snowed in!!! It sounds like lots of fun to me :) I'm hoping and praying for a real blizzard this year.. anything is possible, right? Great hub, voting up!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 4 years ago

      I love the winter months and look forward to them immensely. You give good advice to those who find it a challenge.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Just fabulous! This should win a bigger award than HP offers.

      I love hubs that make me smile, and your next to last paragraph made me laugh out loud. :)

      My winter tip for keeping warm is the marvelously amazing product called HotHands.

      Thanks for a great post with super advice and positive perspective. I'm looking forward to embracing winter with gusto now.

      Oh, and just because my precious daughter was born in February, I'm going to go read another of your hubs. :)

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      I love snow, but hate the long cold dark days and nights, and all the cold rain that is the norm in the UK. Before moving to Spain, each year I dreaded more and more the onset of winter. I loved this hub though, the photo´s are gorgeous, and some good tips for when I do eventually go back to live in the UK.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing. We in SF are quite spoiled. We squawk when the temperature drops below 40. What I like best about winter is cuddling with my wife in a blanket.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 4 years ago

      I loved your hub. It was well written and you present your case very well. The photos were excellent to. I voted this hub up and found it very interesting but..........you didn't convince me. I still hate winter and I especially hate snow! In fact I have such a passionate hatred towards snow that I, with determined enthusiasm, hate each individual flake!! Your writing....good. Your hub....good. Winter....bad!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      I wish we had snow! We get rain, and some cold and I love it! Great hub Julie--only I am jealous!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Winter is not my favorite season, but I love the variety of seasons and try to embrace the positives of each one as they come. Great job with this topic!

    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      I love the richness and diversity of the seasons. I do feel depressed in the winter due to the lack of light but i bought a SAD lamp two years ago and it has worked wonders. This year, i'm looking forward to getting layered up with my scarves, hat and gloves and enjoying lots of crisp winter walks! Great hub!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      When I was younger, I did enjoy winter, especially when our children were young and we took winter hikes, went cross-country skiing and tobogganing. Of course, if you live in an area of harsh winters, you need to choose the days and times to spend outdoors. A sunny day with no wind can be great even if the temperatures are in the teens as long as you are dressed properly and keep moving. You have a great hub with all the best suggestions for enjoying winter activities! Voted up and shared!

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      I am not really a fan of winter . I will try to do some of your advice. This summer is so hot and that is why I kinda miss winter.

      Thanks for the useful tips. :-)

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      After reading this hub, no one should have any excuse for not finding joy in winter - except me. Like Janine, I truly hate winter, and the minute it gets here I can't wait for it to get gone. But I really appreciate your ideas and upbeat delivery! While others are out there skiing or ice skating, I'll be in the kitchen playing with new winter recipes and in the south-facing windows starting seedlings for spring. Up, interesting, useful!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the winter, love the cold, love the outside activities, and I refuse to do flu shots. My body's immune system is quite strong because I never got started on those things. Other than that, I agree with all of this....bring on the snow!

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 4 years ago

      I miss the snow! We don't get snow here in Texas. I want to move back to where it is cold and snowy. Awesome hub:)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Julie, sorry I am the person that you speak of that hates the winter and just hate being so cold for those 90 days. I actually would rather 100 degrees and humid (I know I am a weirdo). That said you really have a lot of wonderful tips from how to enjoy this time of the year and have even pinned to refer back to some of the more crafty and recipe ideas, too. Have of course also voted up, shared and tweeted :)

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Am a true fan of Winter. Lived in South Alabama for many years and missed the snow of the land of my birth. Don't mind it at all. Yes, you've got to dress for it, but I'd much rather put more on, than to take it off in the Summer and get arrested! lol Great lists and ideas!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I am so jealous after reading this hub! I also want snow! I think we will just have to pack up and move to America now. It's settled. FANTASTIC hub. Sharing all over :) (I'd prefer being cold to sweating from the heat any day!)