Brian Williams’ puppy-dog eyebrows furrow further as as the mercury plunges. He announces the arrival of winter in apocalyptic, gloom-and-doom tones on the evening news. You’d think we’re all stuck in a permanent Fargo.
Winter, I believe, has an unfairly bad rap.
Admittedly, I’m spoiled by living in a snow-shovel-free zone of the Pacific Northwest, so the list is a tad subjective. The last time schools here shut down for an arctic blast, I looked out the window and caught a fleeting glimpse of three and a half snowflakes.
Despite my lack of empirical evidence, I’m here to defend the season that’s been left out in the cold.
Here’s why winter is not all woe:
1. Blubber magically disappears under bulky coats. Buttoning or zipping up your coat is optional – especially if your outerwear has mysteriously shrunk since last year.
2. There’s a self-imposed embargo against shaving one’s legs. What??!! Don’t look at me like that. It’s the vetted means of providing an extra layer of protection from the “polar vortex.”
3. Cute scarves make you feel like you’ve kicked it up a notch in the fashion department. Add boots to that equation and you could hit the runways of Milan. Maybe. Also, it doesn’t hurt to look like Maria Sharapova’s cute younger sister.
4. You don’t have to deal with men in spandex. I’m referring to the swarms of summer bikers you don’t have to swerve around while driving.
5. Nothing’s better than hot chocolate on a cold winter day. Except, maybe, hot chocolate with teeny marshmallows bobbing in it. With a swirl of caramel on top. And a plate of smores on the side.
6. This one’s a no-brainer. Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as I recall.
7. Less laundry. Like way less. Kids who don’t have run-ins with sidewalk chalk, popsicles, lemonade stands, bubble wands and summer sweat are clean kids. Relatively speaking.
8. Cookies are a major food group this time of the year. You can still have a balanced diet by dividing your plate into quarters and filling it with four different kinds of cookies. On that note, whoever invented the ancient bonding ritual of the Cookie Exchange Party was a genius. Possibly one on a permanent sugar high.
9. If you can keep it together after shopping during this season, consider yourself invincible. You found a parking spot at the mall and remembered your coupons? Get yourself a cape, woman!
10. There’s no pressure to take your kids to every pumpkin patch or berry-picking farm in town. Winter makes being lazy perfectly legit. Go ahead and pinterest cookie recipes all day long. When it’s time for the cookie exchange party, open up a bag from Trader Joe’s and arrange cookies on a pretty platter handed down from your grandma.
11. You get cards from people. Like real cards. Made from real paper. Some of them may have hand-written notes, quite possibly penned in cursive.
That just gets me all teary.
I hereby rest my case.