Beach days are over, flip flops have been thrown to the back of the closet, and our skin has gotten so dry our resemble a reptile. Hello, winter!
We might be feverishly counting down the days to summer, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy December, January, and February. Hey — at least they’re not as rainy as March (usually). The next time you start cursing because you can’t feel your fingers…or toes…or face… reflect on some of the best winter offerings. Besides, if it was sunny and warm year round, we’d have to be perpetually ready to don a bikini.
1. The Holidays
First there’s Thanksgiving break, and the excuse to gorge yourself on home-cooked meals (a welcome change from the dining hall); then, after some grueling finals, winter break rolls around, with Christmas and Hannukah following closely behind. Lights and decorations are everywhere, NSync, Mariah Carey, and Adam Sandler take over the airwaves with “Merry Christmas (Happy Holidays),” “All I Want for Christmas is You,” and “The Hannukah Song,” respectively. And then there’s the long-awaited return of the Starbucks Gingerbread Latte.
By the end of December, winter is only half over, and we get to look forward to party hard on New Year’s Eve, with Valentine’s Day rolling around just a few weeks later. As winter trails off, we can say goodbye to snow over pints of Guinness for Saint Patrick’s Day, and then we have nothing left to celebrate until July. Thank you, winter, for giving us school vacations, seasonal treats, and an excuse to drink heavily at themed bar nights.
2. An Excuse to Layer
‘Tis the season to accessorize! There’s no way we could show off a cute new pashmina in 90-degree humidity, or color coordinate knit sorell caps, gloves, and scarves. Without a drop in temperature, we wouldn’t be able to jazz up a sweater dress with a chunky belt, sweater boots wouldn’t have even been invented, and there would be no room in our closets for cashmere!
3. Winter Sports
Football season gives way to basketball season, and students across the country get to continue to show their school spirit as their teams vie for a spot in one of the many tournaments across the country. For die hard fans, these tournaments also mean….ROAD TRIP! I mean, if you really can’t stand the cold, you can always pick a tourney in a warm climate – preseason tournaments so far have included the Maui Invitational and the Anaheim Classic. And that’s just b’ball getting started — take it from a Big East veteran, nothing will warm you up like a half-gallon thermos of beer at Madison Square Garden while you join thousands of other die-hard fans.
Of course, the list of winter-centric games goes on. Ice hockey, skiing, snowboarding, and skating are reason enough to brave the frigid temperatures, and if you can get your hands on a snowmobile and a few acres of land, you won’t even miss the beach. Who says you have to gain weight over the holiday season? With all these winter sports, it’s easy to find fun ways to burn calories. Hell, next time it snows, organize a snowball fight and tone your biceps while pelting your roommate!
4. The Romance Factor
Okay, seriously? Snuggling by the fire… or, if you don’t have a fireplace, an excuse to stay in bed under the covers for the whole day. There’s also the excuse to dress like a naughty Santa’s helper, a la Mean Girls to seduce your man, and with some mistletoe around, you’re bound to lock lips with the hottie of your choosing. Also, the winter sports previously mentioned can be a great ice-breaker (no pun intended). You can flirt over the snowbanks and then take a hot shower together to prevent frost bite. Can’t be too careful! If Currier and Ives proves to be an aphrodisiac, you get to celebrate your newfound relationship by bringing the honey home for the holidays.
5. The Scenery
If you can catch the first snowfall before the snowplows hit, it’s gorgeous. When the hills are mounds of white, the trees are shrouded with snowflakes, and the sun gleams off of an ice-covered pond, winter can make you forget about the stress of midterms and holiday shopping…until the world wakes up, shovels out their cars, and turns the Norman Rockwell-esque landscape into a mound of muddy sludge. Sure, the leaves turn pretty colors in the fall, but there’s a period between fall and winter where the trees are just barren, ugly, and dead-looking. Once the first snowfall hits, it’s an instant reminder of why we love regions that have all four seasons, and why we’re willing to deal with the cold year after year.