Monday, December 12, 2011

My Winter List: Things to Do in Winter

We had the first dusting of snow in Chicago last week, and temperatures dipped below the freezing point over the weekend, so clearly the weather is telling me: It's winter. Thus it's time to think about what should be on my winter list.

Given that I have a list for making sure I "have a summer," and a list for fall to savor my favorite season, I figure I better have one for winter as well. After all, there are many things that make a winter. For me, they are:

  • Go sledding
  • Go iceskating (perhaps, this year, even some ice skating lessons)
  • Sip Glühwein (hot spiced wine) at Chicago's downtown Christkindlmarket
  • See the play A Christmas Carol
  • Make S'mores in the fireplace
  • Bake Striezel (my grandmother's braided sweet yeast bread)
  • Knit something
  • Photograph homes with kitschy Christmas decorations
  • Have a Chanukah Open House
  • Roast chestnuts

Leaves gathered during our hike in Starved Rock, now pressed
my guide book.

Looking back on my fall list, I am happy to note that I did everything, except roast chestnuts, so that's why that appears here again. And we didn't manage to go hiking in the Indiana Dunes, but since we go sledding there, that state park will see us soon enough.

Did you have a list for fall? And how about one for winter? Even if winter isn't your favorite season, there are still plenty of things to enjoy, and it's especially good to think beyond the holidays to counteract that January slump in spirits.


  1. That is a MUCH nicer list than the endless To-Do lists. Mine are similar to yours - ice skating, skiing, sledding, hot chocolate sipping. Nice idea.

  2. Nice list, but it seems 'writing a new story' was missing. :)

  3. Annette, it looks more like a December list, but I'm sure you can add more to the list as the gray of winter stretches out. Or, start the list again, that would be fun.

    Sometimes I miss the snow of my midwest upbringing, but then I remember, I'm going to be snorkeling for Christmas and it's not so bad.

  4. Love your fun to do list. This is something hubby and I do usually for the summer so we can prioritize the "must dos" for our short good weather period. We don't often make them for the fall or winter but perhaps we should. If nothing else, it gives you a fun list of stuff to do when you are sitting home supposedly bored. LOL!

  5. BTW Nancy...I hate you!!!
    Snorkeling for Christmas...grrrrr...
    LOL...just kidding. Just insanely JEALOUS! ENJOY!!!

  6. Let's see, in winter we love Disney at Christmas, Beaches in January, Gasparilla Pirate Fest in February, cold drinks, ice cream. Oh, did I mention we live in Florida? :-)

  7. See Diane has the right idea. Live in a warmer climate. Smart woman that Diane.

    And that would be the reason I love Southern California! Can't beat the weather here. Well unless you live in Hawaii.

    Great list Annette! Stay warm you hear! :)

  8. Fun post, Annette! My lists all seem to be work related, and everything else either happens or doesn't. You've inspired me to take a look at that.

  9. my winter list includes things like sit in front of the fire, have a hot soaking bath, have some Baileys in coffee, enjoy my friends in my house...are you seeing the theme? Nothing outside. it's cold out there, so I'll shovel when I have to and otherwise enjoy the natural gas and warmth of my home. Have fun sledding and tobogganing and skiing - I'll think of you from fireside.

  10. One of the things I love about Christmas/winter holidays in Manhattan is that the vendors on the sidewalks sell chestnuts. I haven't bought any yet, but I love smelling them, especially at night in front of Rockefeller Center.

  11. Julie Hedlund - the idea is exactly that: NOT a to-do list!

    Nancy - now writing is not something I have to remind myself to do...

    Nancy J Nicholson - December yes, but sledding, for instance, can't be done until January when hopefully we will have enough snow. Enjoy the snorkeling!

    Natalie - the idea is indeed to remember that there is fun to be had in winter, even outside!

    Diane Capri - so is there anything that you can only do in winter in Florida? Come one, there's gotta be something!

    Karen - well, I must say I love the seasons. Although by March winter has gotten old and in Chicago spring is still a long way, so then it gets dreary. That's when I should head for sunnier climates!

    Alicia - I'm trying to make the fun happen as well!

    Louise - lots of fireside activities for me, too. But some fun is to be had outside as well.

    Shirley - Manhatten before Christmas is on my list of lifetime goals - I love those roasted chestnuts, eaten right on the street! In Germany they sell them all through winter.