Back in September I shared 5 Reasons to Fall in Love with Autumn, and as we’ve taken a step closer to the Baltic temperatures everyone’s been talking about over the last few weeks, I thought it was only appropriate that I posted a winter edition of this seasonal post.
It’s easy to think that winter just means bare trees, itchy jumpers and grey skies in the morning, but that couldn’t be a more miserable way of thinking about this magical time of year. Naturally we all start worrying about Christmas, but if even if you take that out of the equation and just consider the season of winter, it’s clear that there are many things to fall in love with.
Being able to say “winter is coming” at every available opportunity.
What is it about winter that’s so much more exciting and foreboding than the other three seasons of the year? Even if you’re not a Game of Thrones fan, there’s no need to stop using Sean Bean’s iconic statement, because there is something quite sexy about saying it, almost as if you alone hold the knowledge of when the seasons are about to change.
It’s rubbish of course, as people have been using it for generations when autumn begins to get that icy nip in its breath and Marks and Spencers start stockpiling hat and scarf sets like they’re going out of fashion. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the excitement of it all anyway.
Waking up in the morning to discover snow has fallen overnight.
Why is it that the idea of snow inspires such childlike wonder in us? It makes us want to drop everything in an instant and pull on our warmest clothes, throw the door open and jump straight into the marshmallow drifts covering our back gardens. It’s the one undeniably positive behaviour of Brits during winter: amidst all the complaining about trains being delayed and supermarkets being poorly stocked, we never waste a snow day.
There’s no hiding, Christmas really IS coming!
Seeing a heading like that is usually enough to strike fear into anyone’s heart, but why let it? Christmases come in all shapes and sizes: some big and all-encompassing, full of crackers and turkey and Christmas trees laden with thousands of miles of tinsel, and others much quieter and simpler. In our house at Christmas we always go for a walk in the morning before opening any presents that are under the tree. It’s my favourite part of Christmas Day.
I think the most important thing to remember about 25th December is that there really are no rules. If you don’t like turkey and you’d rather order pizza with your loved one and watch Night of the Living Dead, there’s no reason as to why you can’t. Christmas isn’t about following society’s traditions and buying into things you don’t believe in or even like, it’s about spending a day with the people who you love the best. And yes, if you want, that can just mean yourself.
It’s totally acceptable to enjoy hearty stews and calorific hot drinks.
All summer long we spend our time squeezing into shorts that are too short, dresses that are too tight and bikinis that are bordering on obscene. Winter wardrobes might not be as glamorous as our summer attire, but you can bet one thing: woolly jumpers and fluffy coats go a long way to hiding the extra pounds we’ll all gain over the festive period.
Whether it’s a white hot chocolate (with added gingerbread syrup) from Costa or a toffee nut latte from Starbucks, you can be sure that they’re both about 8000 calories a pop. And then there’s the Christmas biscuits, the boxes of chocolates and the inevitable need to eat a “warm” (read: enormous) lunch because it’s so damn chilly in the office.
It’s the best time of year to watch beautiful sunrises.
This is a pretty spiritual one for me. For the last two years I’ve skipped New Years’ Eve pretty much altogether and concentrated on celebrating the first sunrise of the year instead. In Japan this is called Hatsuhinode and is a tradition that bears much more weight than the Western Christmas. It is something Elliott and I used to place great importance on.
Perhaps you’re too attached to the idea of having a party with your nearest and dearest to consider getting up at six o’clock in the morning on January 1st, but if really you can’t bear it don’t forget to peek out of the window one morning during the winter months. The sunrises yielded by dark December are easily the most beautiful of all.
And what about you? Do you have any winter traditions or family Christmas rituals that you look forward to every year? Whatever it is you get up during the colder months, make sure you stay super snug by popping an extra pair of socks on and heating your gloves on the radiator before you go out, and if you’re staying in with a hot drink and a cosy blanket be sure to follow my winter adventures via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Enjoy your snowy season!