This week’s topic is one I suggested: What are some things you LIKE about winter?
Here in Michigan, we get some pretty cold days and nasty snowstorms. There are times when it’s not safe to be outdoors, so it’s easy to understand why people leave every winter and go south. Some people leave for months at a time, and others go for a week or two, but others, like us, stick around for the duration. Since we’re about twenty miles away from the east coast of our state, Lake Michigan plays a big part in our weather. During the summer, winds blowing over the water help keep us from getting too hot. In the winter we experience what’s known as “lake effect” snow, which means that the air moving across the lake picks up extra moisture, which translates into extra snow for us.
All this is to say that winter weather is not my favorite part of the season. I guess I’d have to say that my favorite part of winter is the gatherings and celebrations that take place. Special days mean extra time with family, and that always makes me happy. In late November and early December we celebrate birthdays with two of my granddaughters. I always take the birthday child out for lunch or dinner and we catch up on what’s going on in their lives. I started the tradition when the kids were small, and they still seem to enjoy it as much as I do!
Christmas preparation and celebrating, of course, takes up most of December. Sometimes snow and ice make it difficult to get to the various events, but most of the time we manage to make it. My two youngest grandkids will be performing in a concert in a few weeks, and I’ve got two performances next week. We’ll have gatherings with at least one side of the family, and on Christmas Day we’ll have brunch at my daughter’s house. Sometime between now and the 23rd I need to finish cleaning the house, sew several stockings, and wrap all the gifts. But I love every minute of it!
January is birthday month around here. My husband’s birthday is on the 3rd, my son-in-law’s is on the 5th, my daughter’s is on the 8th, and my granddaughter’s is on the 31st. When my dad was with us, we celebrated his birthday on the 27th. Of course, we’ll have a family gathering or two, complete with cake and gifts. We’re so lucky that we live close enough to see them so often!
Valentine’s Day isn’t a family-centered holiday, but it celebrates the love we write about. I haven’t yet written a story set around the day, but as a romance writer, the idea of this day sets up all sorts of scenarios for couples to get together and fall in love. My local writer’s group meets on the Saturday before Valentine’s Day, and we have lunch together, then we break out our laptops and write. Outside, it will probably be cold and snowy, but inside, we’ll be dreaming up new characters and stories. What better way to spend the day?