Yes, there are cures for wintertime blues
Published 10:17 am Thursday, November 7, 2013
Column: A Happy Medium, by Erin Murtaugh
With snow falling this week and the holidays quickly approaching, I thought I’d share 10 of my favorite things about winter. Really, I’m not a huge fan of this season because I’m constantly cold and afraid of icy roads, but there are some perks to winter.
1. Ice skating
I figure skate nine months of the year, but really, going skating during the winter makes it feel like something right out of a movie. Albert Lea is loaded with outdoor rinks, and the area frequently has open ice time. If you’re looking for something to do, indoors or out, give skating a try.
2. Giving back
I really don’t know of many other things that are more rewarding than just the feeling I get after giving back. Whether it’s volunteering or dropping some change into a Salvation Army bucket, knowing I made even the smallest of difference in some way makes me feel good. I am excited because this year my school advisory is going to adopt a family for Christmas. I can’t wait to make some family’s holiday season better and brighter.
3. Hot chocolate, eggnog and apple cider
Sure, you can make hot chocolate and apple cider any time of the year, but making it in the winter makes the season come to life even more. Eggnog is usually only available around the holidays, so I like to enjoy this festive beverage while I can.
4. A break from school
Just in time for Christmas, students get almost two weeks of vacation from school. It’s nice to get a long break and unwind. Plus, by the time school starts up again, the semester only has a few weeks left, which means the school year is almost halfway done.
Even though I haven’t been snowmobiling in a while, it’s still one of my favorite winter activities. The thrill of dashing through the snow is amazing. Hopefully, I can get some snowmobiling in this year.
6. Holiday pies
If you don’t know what a holiday pie is, after you finish reading my column, please go get one. Two years ago, when I first got my driver’s license, my friend Natalie and I would drive to McDonald’s after school almost every day to get a holiday pie. This sprinkle-covered, custard-filled pie is only available during the holidays. I tend to take advantage of their availability a little too much sometimes.
At school, I am involved in choir, chorale and caroliers. Chorale and caroliers are both extracurricular activities. We rehearse carols and perform for various groups in the evenings during the month of December. After our winter concert, the whole choir usually makes a trip to a nursing home to sing for the residents. As Buddy the Elf would say, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
I love baking for the holidays so much that one time I made so many candy cane kiss cookies, which I had nothing to do with, so I just brought them to school and passed them out by the plateful to people. Baking really gets me into the winter spirit and having the oven on helps me forget about how cold it really is outside.
What are the holidays without a little family time here and there? I love my family. I always look forward to playing dirty bingo and having wrapping paper fights.
10. The overall mood of the season
Generally people are more generous and happy during the winter months. After all, the holidays are known as the season of giving. Seeing people so cheery, as cheesy as it sounds, just makes me really happy.
I apologize if anyone is annoyed by me talking about winter so soon in November, but hello, we live in Minnesota. Anything could happen. In the blink of an eye we could become Minnesnowta.
Albert Lea resident Erin Murtaugh is a senior at Albert Lea High School.