There’s been much a-grumbling in recent days about what seems to finally be arriving: the freaking cold (wasn’t it just, like, August?). Yes, winter is nigh, and so are all of the complaints that come with cold knuckles, chapped lips, and swinging snow shovels like giant lopsided axes in a fruitless attempt to smash your way through driveway ice. But, as with most trials in life, sometimes it helps to look on the bright side of things, especially when it’s already dark outside before you get out of work.
So in the spirit of our now long forgotten summer, or the holidays, or just in a pitiful attempt to hold off the crushing winter blues until at least the new year, here is my list of the top ten things to look forward to this winter:
10. You can leave beer outside:
This might seem like a useless winter time benefit for non-beer drinkers. Alas, father Joemas can’t make everyone happy, but for those among us who do indulge in the occasional tipsying beverage of choice, this can be a mighty fine season. Aside from the ability to store booze out on your porch rather than packing out your fridge, there’s many-a seasonal craft brews that will be gone come the spring thaw. Drink up now! *WARNING: make sure to bring beer indoors if temperatures drop at night below freezing as not doing so could result in broken beers and a sad you. #:'( #frozentears
9. You can leave food in the car!:
Okay, this might seem like another one of my crazy Joe-bo schemes, but think about the logistics for a moment (and by logistics I mean laziness). In the spring or summer when I forget to bring my restaurant leftovers inside I sometimes end up driving a couple of days later and wondering, “Hmm, I really hope that vinegary smell isn’t coming from my engine…” In the winter, I can delightfully stumble across a frozen bean burrito in my backseat ready for thawing!
8. My beard suddenly becomes a much more reasonable adaptation:
As a perennial beard-bearer, I’m often asked, “Aren’t you hot under that thing?” The truth is that I barely notice my beard having borne it so many years now; however, once the winds of winter start whipping across my face, I’m suddenly reminded of why I’ve been cultivating my glorious facial turf all year: #facescarfwin
7. Cozy pajamas:
Anymore needeth saying?
6. Holiday meals:
Fall and winter are perhaps the peak seasons for holiday feasting. If American holidays in general are really actually about anything, then the answer is food, and the winners are perhaps Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, there are plenty of other great foodie days throughout the year, though the wintertime offers all types of deliciousness not found elsewhere: cinnamon, nutmeg, anything roasted and warmmmmm….
5. Hot chocolate!:
Hot chocolate gets my vote 365, but if there’s one season where it truly shines that season is winter. If you’re feeling daring, I suggest trying an olde 60/40 – a trademark concoction formulated by who else than me? Basically make a cup that’s 60% hot chocolate and 40% black coffee (you should add more hot chocolate and less coffee based on the desired strength, but I myself am pretty bold so I stick closer to the 60/40 balance, but hey, drinkers choosers).
Step one: build them. Step two: tackle/sword fight them with sticks.
3. Sledding/warm fires/other activities:
If it looks like Hoth outside, you might as well make the most of it. Skiing and snowboarding are always a fine idea if you have a chance to escape to a mountain somewhere, but for us common folk: some sleds, a hill, and a handle of Jameson should suffice to pass the time in style.
2. Something to complain about:
Let’s face it: humans like to complain, even if there’s nothing really worth complaining about. Winter is a fine time to fill our otherwise empty lives with some icy grievances. Just think about the rest of the year when you’ll be able to say, “At least it’s not snowing.”
1. Dreaming of sunnier days, and hey, it could always be worse:
Since global warming or changing or weirding or whatever you want to call it is going to boil us all away anyway, we might as well enjoy the winter while it lasts. Of course, there’s always the polar vortex, in which case we’ll freeze to death instead. Either way, everything changes; nothing lasts forever. It’s all perspective. The colder the winter, the warmer the summer seems. Until then, hot chocolate and dreaming of the beach sounds like a plan to me.