Winter this year is very warm and we didn't have enough snow. As my son would say: "It feels like winter but looks like spring... where's the snow???"
Things I love about winter --
- White Christmas
- Tree branches covered with snow
- The serenity of seeing everything white
- Tobogganing and playing in the snow -- hopefully I will be able to 'try' other winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and dogsledding
- Cuddling in bed with a comforter
- Free airconditioning
- Black ice and freezing rain -- it causes accidents
- When the snow melts, it becomes slushy and slippery
- Layer and layer of clothing to keep me warm -- thermal shirt, turtle neck/long sleeve or wool shirt, sweater and a jacket, plus scarf, hat, ear muff and mittens
- My laundry is twice as much
- When its windy and snowing at the same time -- its hard to see where you're going
- I hate driving when there's snow -- I got stuck once and nobody is willing to stop and assist me
- Drivers who are driving recklessly despite the slippery road
- Getting the flu
"Learning to Love Winter" (From Winter Solstice to Vernal Equinox)
Winter in Canada can be a vastly different experience in any one of the thirteen provinces or territories in this Country. In a country with six time zones and winter temperatures ranging from temperate to arctic, it can be difficult to prepare for winter (whether you are a Canadian or an International Student). The secret is to not just "prepare" for winter, but to "love" winter.
But how does one go from preparing for winter to loving winter, in a country that covers almost 10 million square kilometers of real estate and is almost completely covered in snow for three months of the year? The answer is, "It's all in how you view it." Now for those of you who are experiencing winter conditions for the first time, you do not have the benefit of having had a childhood experience in snow. And it is in childhood that all your best winter memories are born - simple pleasures like your first snowman or, first snowball or even your first experience on ice skates. The good news is that it is never too late to see and experience winter through a child's eyes. Proper clothing and a nice pair of sunglasses are all you need to change your point-of-view. To truly experience and indeed love winter, you must get outside! But getting outside is just the beginning; the next step is to get active outside. I know what you're thinking, "Exactly how active can one get in the snow?" You may be surprised and amazed by the following (short) list: Winter activities could include downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, dogsledding, snowmobiling, tobogganing, sledding, hockey, ice sculpture, snowman building, and of course ice skating. (Did you know that there are over 2 million lakes in Canada? And almost every one of them freezes in the winter - that's 16 Canadians per lake; perfect numbers for a hockey game. And there are also over 1000 ice rinks in just Ontario alone.) ...
Admittedly, there are many dangers in winter: Frostbite, snowblindness or even poor diet, but none are as dangerous as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a wintertime disorder that can appear as depression or even excessive cravings for highly caloric foods. The cause of SAD is quite simply a lack of sunlight. This lack of sunlight alters the natural circadian rhythm of your body (or body clock) and can have profoundly negative affects on your daily life. This lack of sunlight is caused by a reluctance to spend time outside because it's cold and dark for much of the day. It is important to avoid the temptation to spend the winter inside, so that you get the natural healthy benefits of the sun. So instead of wrapping yourself in blankets, wrap yourself in layers of clothing, and venture out into this winter wonderland and make a snowman, or go skating on one of our 2 million lakes...