Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter What-to-dos

I'm not generally one to get excited for Winter, what with it meaning months of cold feet, soggy mittens, bad hair, icy commutes, and sniffles. However, its presence is undeniable, and since the month of December is already more than half-way through it seems appropriate to celebrate the chilliest season while it's here. Need a little inspiration for getting into the snowy spirit? Give some, or all, of these tips a try.
  • Bake a tray of gingerbread people cookies and decorate them to look like people you know or famous folks. Then host a festive party and display said cookies for your guests - use them instead instead of place cards or turn it into a game and see who can guess the cookie's likeness... then enjoy!
  • Suit up and enjoy the snow like you did when you were a kid. Grab a friend and make a snow man, build an igloo, make snow angels, have a snowball fight... you get the idea. Once your fingers are frozen and you've got snow in your boots (or perhaps down your pants), change into something comfy and make a heaping mug of hot cocoa.
  • Pop some corn and settle in for an evening of holiday films. Mix up some old favorites with something you haven't seen yet. On my list: A Charlie Brow Christmas, The Holiday, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Shop Around the Corner, Love Actually, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Elf, and of course, A Christmas Story!
  • When you make it home from a long cold day, pop your pjs and some fluffy socks in the dryer for a few minutes before hoping into them. You'll be warmed-up and relaxed in no time.
  • Catch your favorite winter sports on TV, or better yet live! There's the X-Games, competitive ice skating, ski racing, snow mobile racing... Once you're feeling up to the challenge head to your local mountain, rink, track or trail and get in on the action yourself.
  • Of course, you don't need to be an adrenaline junkie to enjoy winter sports. Both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are great ways to take in the changing scenery, no prior experience required. You can make either sport as leisurely or vigorous as you like, so bring your camera to capture the sights or plenty of water to rehydrate while you burn off that fruit cake.
  • If you're of the crafty persuasion, get busy hand-making thank you cards. Draw, paint, stamp, glue, weave, bedazzle, however you like; with all the thank yous there are to send out this time of year, you'll be glad to have a stack of personal cards to help deliver a heart-felt "thanks".
  • It may seem like your culinary choices are limited during this rather dormant growing season, but there are many options for seasonal produce yet. Citrus fruits, and more specifically Clementines, are my favorite whole-foods winter treat. Food and Wine, Real Simple, and Chow all have some great ideas for delicious meals made with Winter produce too.

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