Winter Wonderland

Winter is approaching quickly, but seeing as it is nearing the middle of November and we have yet to see a snowfall stick around, I figure we can’t really complain.

October and November have been beauties so far, but now that we have done the annual “fall back,” it is only a matter of time. As a semi-lover of winter, I feel as though I should share my tricks to make this season more bearable for the majority of you.

In my opinion, the best way to make it through the winter is to be as optimistic as possible; take the “glass half full” approach.

The first way to do this is to make all the other seasons seem less fun than they actually are. So I say: “Sucks to be you, summer,” with your hot and muggy days, millions of bugs and sunburns. “See you later spring,” with your giant surprise puddles hidden underneath grass, and mysterious snowfalls in the middle of May. And fall, you can get out of here too; your annual 15 days of fame have expired. Welcome winter, my old crispy friend, bringer of cold and hoarder of frost.

You see how I did that? Winter feels better already! Okay, step two is to remember the things you can do during winter that are simply not possible any other time of year.

What other time of year can you toy with, if not follow through with, the idea of skating to the bus stop after an ice storm? Winter is the only provider of such activities as skiing, sledding, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowman building, and basically anything with snow in the name; these are all ways to increase outdoor fun while trying to keep your extremities from going numb.

That in and of itself can be a fun game: how long can you stay outside before you can’t feel your feet? This brings me to step two, subsection B: the mysteries of winter. What other season can you question the appearance of the sun? If it is dark when I go to school at 8 a.m. and dark when I leave school at 4 p.m., has the sun even been out at all? Who knows! It’s a mystery!

I wonder if that guy is attractive underneath his 18 pounds of outerwear? I will never know! It’s a mystery! Will my eyes freeze close on the way to the bus today, or just my nostrils? Or both?

I think you get where I’m going with this, but the point is that this kind of thinking is winter exclusive.

Step three is to appreciate how amazing being inside is. The best thing about the cold outside is how amazingly good the warm inside feels.

Winter break is the perfect time to bundle up in a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and pop in some DVDs of all those television seasons you’ve been missing due to studying. On a similar note, a whole bunch of excellent holidays fall within this season I love, including winter break from school, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Reading Week and Louis Riel Day. Winter clearly wins as season with the most holidays, and how can you not love a season full of days off?

Step four, possibly the most important of all steps, is that we have to endure this with a smile because it enhances our street cred as a city. Winnipeg is not really looked upon as a “go to” city in Canada, but as long as we stick out the winter, we can claim that people don’t come here because they are “wussy” and “can’t handle the cold,” and that we, by default, are amazing super humans.

There is a certain pride we Winnipeggers take in telling people how cold it actually gets here; I am guilty of this very thing. In fact, I made a point of including it in a presentation given to 80 students while I was abroad, writing it in large bold print on the slide: “Coldest temperature on record: Approx. -45C.”

Waves of “holy shit” came from the audience as I stood back and nodded my head. Holy shit is right, my friends. You are correct to react in that way because, unlike me, you are not amazing super humans; you would die in such frigid temperatures.

All of us Winnipeggers take this approach to anyone wanting to pick a fight with us about anything. We, for some reason, need to prove we live in the worst winter city ever; it is our one weapon to use whenever we can, and Lord knows we do. Without winter, we would literally have no ammunition; every argument would just end with the phrase “I got nothin’” and a disgruntled shrug. We could no longer claim our identity of frozen tundra badasses.

So, let us thank good old winter for giving us an appreciation for outdoor sports, an even greater appreciation of indoor comforts, a few mysteries to ponder, and providing us with a badass reputation that cannot ever be trumped by anyone. Ever!