Ugly Christmas Sweaters & Other Wintery Things
I used to absolutely hate winter. Despise. Which worked out perfectly, because winter's never a problem here in NJ. #SIKE. Until recently I saw absolutely nothing redeeming about winter. I hated the cold, I was terrified of driving in the snow, and summer was what I lived for all year long. But then a few things happened:
a. I became a runner... in the dead of winter. And running in the cold actually really agrees with me.
b. I turned 25 and evidently hit early menopause, because all this past summer I was nearly dying of heatstroke and having hot flashes like never before. I used to be so tolerant to the heat, but I can't take it anymore.
c. I got a Jeep, and driving in the snow is no longer the exercise in courting certain death it used to be.
That said, I still maintain that winter tends to overstay its welcome around here. By January 2, I'm about done with all the snow and ready to quit bundling up like an eskimo just to be outside for 30 seconds. Alas, we'll have snow well into March, and I'm just going to have to make the best of it.
Here are 10 things I'm planning to do this year to make winter as delightful as it could possibly be.
2. Attend an ugly Christmas sweater party... or three. I've already received invites to two that I can't wait to attend, and am waiting to see if my favorite bar is continuing their tradition this year. I cannot WAIT to show you the apparel I've picked up for the occasion(s), but I'm keeping it under wraps for a bit longer :)
4. Perfect my hot toddy. My stepdad introduced me to these a few years back. They're his favorite for any sickness — he says you have to fix a hot toddy, smother yourself in layers and blankets, chug the drink, and go right to sleep; you'll sweat whatever you've got right out. But I actually quite like the taste of them, and they combine tea + booze, making them perfect for cozy winter nights. The ingredients are super simple: Black tea, whiskey, lemon juice, honey. But I can never get my ratios juuuust right — too much whiskey, too lemony. I'm going to get it exactly right one of these nights.
6. Plan 2015 trips and adventures. I once read an "instruction for life" that you should go somewhere you've never been before every year. I took this to heart and sort of adapted it. I'm making a commitment to see or experience something new every single month. Ostensibly for the rest of my life, or for as long as I can sustain such a goal. Big or small, I'm determined to making this happen. I've got a few things in the works for 2015 (some of which work toward my goals of running a race in/seeing every U.S. state!) but they won't get off the ground without some serious planning.
|Source: Not the Dalai Lama.|
8. See The Nutcracker. Did you know I used to be a ballet dancer? Well, I used to be a ballet dancer. And when I was a little girl, it was my dream to be a part of the American Ballet Theater and dance in Lincoln Center. I didn't quite make it that far, but I have performed as Clara in The Nutcracker. I've never seen it performed by ABT, but I can't wait to see it this Christmas with Kristen & KC when they come visit NYC. I expect I'll cry buckets, as I usually do when watching any ballet, so... sorry in advance, hun!
|Rock Center 2013|
10. Donate. I've always made donations at Christmas time to charities that I support. In January of 2014 I set a goal to do something every single month to give back in some way. I'm so happy to have been able to do that successfully. Some months were item donations made to Goodwill or local shelters. Some months I made monetary donations to nonprofits I believe in. I volunteered at a race. I've attended charity events. Every time I make a purchase on Amazon I support a charity. But during the holidays I want to up my giving to remind me of the things I find most important about this time of year: community, love, and compassion. I have my holiday donations lined up and I'm planning out my contributions for the next couple of months as well.
Bonus #11: Plan for 2015. Make my lists, outline my budgets, and start the new year off on a well-organized foot. But let's be real, that was totally a given.