The local newspaper has a nifty-neato list of 100 things to do this winter. I think the original idea is to put together a survival guide to slog your way through the long, dark, cold days but, ever the optimist, I actually enjoy winter and try not to see it as a burden. At least that’s what I think this time of year. Ask me again in February and I might be singing a different tune.
I’ll strike off what I’ve already done this winter and re-visit the list occasionally to mark more and more items off.
Walk the dog even when it’s really cold. (it’s the best time to have an empty park all to yourself)
2. Buy a pair of gloves you can drive in.
3. Make friends with someone who owns a hot tub.
4. Light candles on the dinner table.
5. Shovel someone else’s driveway.
6. Have your coffee “for here.”
7. Use your grill because you can. 8. Put hand cream and static spray in your desk drawer.
9. Eat seasonal fruit:
oranges, pears, pomegranate, kiwi, persimmon.
11. If you have a truck, be ready to pull someone out of a ditch.
12. Snowball fight!
13. Know someone who owns a Santa Claus suit. You never know when you might need one.
14. Find your neighborhood sledding hill. Try it out.
Get one pair of soft, warm long underwear.
16. Plant an amaryllis.
17. Ice skate on Westchester Lagoon.
Have a bonfire.
Invest in a warmer jacket than you think you need.
20. Snowshoe along a frozen stream.
21. Drive east and admire the star on the mountain.
Use a humidifier. (don’t need one in this snug-as-a-bug 5-star house)
Never leave home without sunglasses.
Install a thermometer outside your kitchen window.
Make a point to go outside midday on clear days. Let the sun hit your skin.
Get up early.
28. Cut your own Christmas tree.
29. Try chewy vitamin D.
30. Make a snowman in a city park.
31. Donate clothes, food or money.
Try a new indoor exercise: hot yoga, bowling, Zumba, hula, curling, lap swimming. (new gym membership: check)
33. Check the batteries in your headlamp.
Cocoa + peppermint schnapps + marshmallow.
String lights around a tree in your yard. Make sure you can see it from your window.
37. Wear a crazy hat.
38. Light the fireplace.
Get studded snow tires.
40. Eat spicy food: curry, chili, pho.
41. Organize friends for a sleigh ride.
Bake. But don’t eat it all yourself.
Wear ice grippers.
44. Put fat tires and lights on your bike and ride to work.
45. Plan a family movie night.
Let your children tape paper snowflakes on the windows.
Keep a warm parka, gloves, flares, jumper cables and boots in your car at all times.
Notice the moon.
49. Hike up, snowboard down.
Leave your blinds open during the day.
51. Visit the municipal greenhouse, breathe in the tropical smells.
52. Ski the lighted trails — Kincaid, Hillside, Russian Jack, Chester Creek. You don’t have to be fast or good. Take a lesson.
53. Go to First Friday, walk around downtown, have something warm at a bar you never go to.
54. Play fetch at the dog park at night with an illuminated ball or a glowing Frisbee.
55. Track Santa on the NORAD website.
56. Paint a room a warm color.
57. Exfoliate, then moisturize.
58. Always play music inside.
59. If the Bohemian Waxwings show up, take a minute, watch them.
60. Go caroling.
61. Make ice globes, scatter them on the lawn, light candles inside.
62. Watch the lunar eclipse on the eve of winter solstice.
63. Text the relatives a picture of the moose in your yard.
64. Take the time to scrape your car windows all the way.
Get tickets to a holiday concert and a hockey game.
66. Off the ski trail, ear muffs on men are rarely cool.
Listen to the ravens.
68. Go to the shooting range.
69. Have a Scrabble tournament.
Hang a wreath on your door.
71. Eat fondue at Hatcher Pass Lodge.
Rent a public use cabin you can ski to.
73. Open all the windows in your house, just for a couple of minutes.
74. Take a child to story time at the library
75. If you’ve never been on a snowmachine, and you get a chance, try it.
76. Knit, quilt, crochet or scrapbook — with friends.
77. Heated seats.
Wear fleece, wool or fur, but not cotton.
79. Ride the Ski Train.
80. Try your coffee drink Viennese-style, with a splash of orange and cinnamon.
81. Write a real letter.
Pay for one pair of warm, sturdy, waterproof boots.
83. Take the long way home so you can see the neighbors’ Christmas lights.
84. Give moose room.
85. Ice-fish. Bring kids.
Get a block heater. Use it.
88. Run with the reindeer.
Get off the Internet, see friends in person.
90. Watch and listen to the ice coming in with the tide at Beluga Point.
Run or walk at The Dome.
92. Go to the Hillside or Earthquake Park on a clear night, look for northern lights.
93. Ski Alyeska in the spring.
94. Dress warmly and watch a dog race at Tozier Track, or the Iditarod start, or the Tour of Anchorage.
95. Make a snow angel in someone else’s yard.
96. Visit one of the city’s planetariums.
97. Light sparklers on New Year’s Eve.
98. Wear fuzzy slippers.
99. Walk out to the middle of a frozen lake, look at the stars.
100. Don’t forget to unplug your car before you back out of the driveway.