Friday, November 28, 2008

Ways to welcome winter

As Canadians, we tend to think of winter as something
we need to endure, rather than something we can actually
enjoy. In this, we tend to differ from other northerly cultures, like Scandinavia,
where both rural and urban citizens are more likely to celebrate the cold winter season as part of
the natural heritage. They’re a hardy lot. Us, we prefer to shiver our way from one warm place
to another… and preferably quickly.
But instead of cursing the cold this winter, try finding some ways to celebrate winter – whether
you’re inside or out:
1. Try a new outdoor winter sport. Take a
snowboard lesson if you haven’t tried this
great sport yet. If you haven’t been snowshoeing
since childhood, you’ll be surprised to find
new light-weight, comfortable and almost elegant
snowshoes out there on the market. It’s a
completely different sport than the one you
may remember. Try something new.
2. Rediscover your childhood. Nothing beats a
hill, a toboggan and a group of family or
friends. Age doesn’t matter either – so long as
the tobogganers are fit enough for the tough
part: slogging back up the hill with toboggan
in tow. This sport is just as much fun as you
remember. And the hot chocolate at the end of
the day tastes just as good as ever.
3. Go for walks in the sunshine. There’s less
sun in the winter months – much less in some
areas of the country. So if you get a sunny winter
day, bundle up and head out to enjoy the
winter. Be sure to dress for the weather… and
don’t forget your sunglasses.
4. Be a winter animal detective. Look for animal
tracks in the snow and try to figure out
what kind of animal made them and what they
were doing.
5. Find a starry window. On a clear winter
night, wrap yourself in a warm blanket, turn
the lights off, and curl up to look at the stars.
Find the Big and Little Dippers, and then try to
identify all the constellations you can. If you’re
very lucky, you may even spot the Northern
6. Have a skating party. If you don’t have a little
ice pad of your own, you may be able to
rent a school or public rink. Cook a big pot of
chili and have lots of mugs and spoons so
everyone can refuel quickly.
7. Host a games night. Put a fire in the fireplace,
set out some snacks and dig out all
your old board games. Risk, Monopoly, or
Scrabble … it’s a great way to spend a winter
evening with friends.
8. Make ice lanterns! Fill a bucket with water,
and then float a smaller container (like a topless
juice can) in the centre. You can use tape
to hold the juice can down, or set a heavy
object like a stone tile on top. Set outside in
freezing weather, or use your chest freezer. To
unmold, pour some lukewarm water into the
juice can to loosen it, and then set the bucket
into a bath of lukewarm water to release your
ice lantern. Set a votive candle in your ice
lantern by your front door. Lots of time or lots
of buckets? Make a row leading to the house!
9. Catch up on reading! Get out a stack of
books, find a warm chair and catch up on
those novels you’ve been meaning to read. It’s
a perfect way to spend a quiet winter afternoon
or evening.
10. Perfect your homemade hot chocolate.
This recipe couldn’t be simpler: chop up 6 oz.
of your favourite semisweet chocolate, and
put into a heat-proof pitcher along with a few
cinnamon sticks. Heat 4 cups of milk to almost
scalding, then pour into pitcher and stir until
chocolate is melted.
Whatever you do, take pictures, so you can remember your winter fun!
Courtesy Mortgage Intelligence
HO Address: 2900-3300 Bloor Street West, 9th Floor Centre Tower Etobicoke ON M8X 2X9

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