Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday's Top Five - Things I Love About Winter

If you remember, I had an extremely difficult time coming up with five things I actually like about fall, so it shouldn't come as any surprise that I abhor the extremes of winter even more.

To be clear, I will tolerate winter-like conditions from November to December simply because I do believe Christmas wouldn't be the same if it wasn't a white one. But as of January 2nd, I want the white stuff and the chill in the air to disappear.

I don't think that's too much to ask, either, given that summer only lasts two months (if we're lucky).... so why is it that I always sound like such a Scrooge when I slag on winter and just want it to be gone once the holiday season is over?

I just have no use for the long, dreary, miserable weather that occurs from January to (usually) April. No one ever says, "I'm dreaming of a white Easter," so I think I'm vindicated in my frustration over our winters that never end.

But, from November to December, I'll admit that winter is okay....but only for that short term.

Friday's Top Five - Things I Love About Winter:

5. The Outdoors

Provided I'm lucky enough to be indoors, nestled by the fireplace and sitting by the front window watching the snow come down, then I guess it is nice to sit back and admire the beautiful scenery of winter.

But as soon as you ask me to A) shovel, B) drive, or C) walk through the cold, snow, and ice, then all bets are off.

Maybe I would appreciate the beauty of it more if I was an outdoor winter-enthusiast. As in, maybe if I enjoyed ice skating or skiing, then I would rejoice at the sight of this wintery wonderland.

I used to be one of those people who was more likely to go for a jog in winter than in summer, but I'm several years removed from being that person. Now I just watch those people run by our house as I think to myself, "That's what I should be doing...."

But I don't. I've wimped out in my middle age and would rather be warm inside, only leaving the house if it's required of me.

However, if the weather is just right -- as in, if there's no wind and it's not too cold outside -- then I do truly look forward to going for brisk walks in the neighbourhood and pulling my daughter in her sled.

She's young, loves the snow, and doesn't have a Grinchy heart like me.

4. Christmas Craft Sales

We have more Christmas artifacts than we have room for in our house, and yet I still attended a local Christmas craft sale last weekend.

Thankfully, I didn't buy anything, but it was still enjoyable to walk around and see everyone's goodies -- plus my daughter got to visit with Santa, so that was an added bonus.

I guess it's mostly just the feeling of coziness at these craft sales that I like so much. It's kind of like being at a farmer's market in summer.... except you're indoors, lugging around a giant parka, and chatting with the elderly vendors (who are all wearing knitted Christmas sweaters with blinking Christmas lapel pins on them.)

Pure awesomeness.

3. Candy Cane Lane

As a kid I always took for granted how lucky I was to live mere blocks away from our city's Candy Cane Lane. But these days we're sure to take advantage of our proximity and visit it multiple times for the few weeks that it's lit up in December.

Last year alone we went down it at least a dozen times and managed to see something different on each visit that we'd missed before. And my daughter just loved all the lights, too.

I have such respect for any household that puts in the effort to beautify their home and spread the joy of Christmas each year, whether they live on Candy Cane Lane or not.

Admittedly, our phobia of cold weather prevents us from going all out and decorating our home outdoors, but with a little motivation, I'm sure my husband would turn our home into the Griswald residence. Much to the chagrin of our neighbours, I'm sure.

2. Christmas Carols

It's true, I've already started listening to Christmas carols on my computer at work. Coworkers be damned.

My favourite of all the carols are those with a religious theme, but of course the kids tunes are fun, too. The day I'm looking forward to the most this winter is December 13 when my daughter's day care has their annual Christmas concert / potluck in the school gym.

She's been practicing daily -- hand signals and all -- which is why I will do the smart thing this year and record it all on my phone.

You know, so we can watch it again in March when it's still cold and snowy out.

1. TV Specials

Earlier last week, A Piece of Apple posted a link on her Facebook wall that featured the 2013 Holiday TV Guide -- so that people like me could plan our schedules around what festive special is featured on television on any given night.

Some of the featured shows are relatively new, while others are childhood favourites of mine that I'm thrilled to watch with my daughter now -- thus carrying on the tradition of watching too much TV at Christmastime. Ahem.

I actually couldn't wait for these specials to start, though, so earlier this month I borrowed A Charlie Brown Christmas from the library for her to enjoy. (Cue Charlie Brown's desperation: "Does anybody know what the meaning of Christmas is all about?") Total classic.

And then just last week I watched a made-for-TV Christmas movie called Anything But Christmas, which features one of my favourite actors, Sergio Di Zio. This movie actually aired for the first time last Christmas season, so I'm happy to report that it, too, will become an annual viewing tradition for our household.

I guess that's what I love most about holiday TV; the featured shows always have a warm fuzzy feeling to them -- revolving around family, love, and togetherness -- and they're a tradition that I look forward to every year.

That's my list for this week. As per usual, check out my friends' blogs for their take on the same subjects: Divulge with Dani, The Brooding Woman, and A Piece of Apple.

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