How many of you out there are counting the days till summer comes, with its longer light, vacation time, and beach days? I used to be in the “when will this end?” camp when it came to all things winter, but in recent years I’ve had a change of heart. You see, I grew up in New England watching four distinct seasons play out each year of my childhood. As an adult, I wanted to escape the cold, so I moved first to Spain, then South Florida. And you know what? Five years later I’m back up north and loving it. Why the attitude adjustment? Here are five things I’ve learned to love about winter.
Winter is the perfect time to plan. Summer can be so full of busyness—family gatherings, friends’ weddings, beach trips, kids out of school needing more attention. Trying to set aside time to prepare for the future while all that swirls around you can be a losing game. But in January, February, March things are usually quieter, and with the darker evenings, there are fewer outside distractions. Take advantage of that space to consider where you want to be and what steps lie between you and your goals.
Winter is cozy. You may have seen some of the articles about the Danish concept of Hygge recently—if not, I’ll summarize: Danes focus on cosiness in winter, and this contributes to them being one of the happiest people on the planet, despite cold, dark, long winters. Whether you live in a northern climate or not, you can use winter as an excuse to multiply your cosiness. Light candles, read under a blanket, bake cookies, play games with family and friends, drink mulled wine, and be happy.
Winter fashion is easy and festive. In the summer, fashion is about showing off bodies—shorts, sun dresses, tank tops. The clothes are secondary to the people wearing them. But in winter, all that shows are the clothes, so it’s the perfect opportunity to adorn yourself in luxurious materials and patterns. And you can spice up the blandest black sweater with a great scarf, and some cute gloves. Tis the season for red flannel button downs, cashmere pullovers, and maybe even a fabulous faux-fur coat (like this one). Go wild!
Hot chocolate—enough said. Sure, August is warm and bright, but when was the last time someone offered you a peppermint hot cocoa at the beach? Honorable mention in the amazing winter drinks awards goes to hibiscus tea, hot toddies, and Mexican coffee.
Winter invites indoor activities without guilt. When I lived in Florida I always felt like a bum when I stayed in my apartment and watched TV or read a book on a Saturday afternoon. I couldn’t get the voice out of my head saying, “You should get outside and enjoy the beautiful day!” even when going outside meant traffic and humidity and sunburns and spending money. Well, my friends, that’s what winter is for. First off, everyone is expected to stay home and do cosy things, so a certain amount of social pressure is lifted. Second, if you do manage to make it out of the house to take in a museum, go for a walk in the park, or meet friends for lunch, it feels like you’ve done something extra.
What are your favorite wintertime activities? Tweet us @Hip_Latina!