1. You don’t have to put on a nice face
In many ways, the winter is really just a buildup to that first really nice day of spring; which, no matter your life stage, lends itself to immense social obligation.
Essentially, March –> Labor Day is a 6 month stretch that’s all about being seen. It’s a time that’s all about weddings, graduation parties, barbecues, and your little cousin’s soccer game. Which means that you have to tell everyone you’re jobs going pretty well; that you’re happy with your new living situation, and that (other lie that lets everyone else know you’re keeping up with the checklist).
The period between New Year’s and early March is bereft of any of this. Meaning, you can do whatever you want. You can tell people you’re feeling under the weather. You can wear sweatpants all day and still be somewhat practical.
2. Winter Foods
I am a rabid fan of soup dumplings. They’re an incredible food, and are best enjoyed in winter-time. You can make the same argument for warm spinach and artichoke dip, chili, hearty pastas, savory stews, and countless other culinary delights.
Summer has its fair share of foods (gazpacho, perfectly chilled guacamole, pasta salads), but the winter is all about culinary substance over culinary style. You come hungry, and you leave in the best sort of food coma.
3. Beach Town Steals
A few weeks ago, I took a weekend trip to Newport, Rhode Island. Newport is big in the summer, so the winter is all about DEALS and STEALS. Meaning, the second weekend in January was filled with 20-something couples looking for a nice getaway that isn’t fiscally possible during any other season.
Newport’s a big enough place so that things weren’t exactly dead, but there’s something pretty great about being in a beach town during the winter. It’s sort of like going out on a night you aren’t supposed to be out. There’s a ever-so-slightly taboo aspect to the whole thing, in the sense that part of the allure stems from the fact that you’re ignoring society’s calendar.
4. You’re not working as much as you think
Especially with the advent of New Year’s resolutions and executives who “really want to make a dent in Q1,” post-holiday winter is generally seen as a time to buckle down and get work done.
This is a time when you’re putting in the hours; when the days off are sparse, and leaving the office before 7 is grounds for passive-aggressive stink-eyes.
Thinking about this a little more, I think the winter-buckle down is mostly a trick. For one, the holiday hangover arguably creates a reverse-effect for many; after taking some time off from the race of rat, people return to the maze and start to look at things a little bit differently.
Instead of this being the year you really buckle down to get that promotion, maybe it’s the year you get your priorities in order; maybe you resolve resolve to stop staying at the office 30 minutes later than you need to just to look good. Maybe you strategically morph into a less demanding role.
ALSO, there are TWO three day weekends in the period between January and March. There are only two other guaranteed three day weekends in the entire year (July 4th is a Wild Card, and Thanksgiving is its own thing), and I feel like this is oftentimes overlooked.
5. Guilt-Free Binge Watching
When the first season of House Of Cards was released in 2013, the internet went nuts and crowned both the series and the concept of binging as the greatest thing to ever happen (until the next day, when we needed to find the next greatest thing ever maintain the perpetual cycle of social media letdown).
Had the first binge series been released in the heat of July, it probably wouldn’t’ve had the same emphatic response — people might’ve been barbecuing instead of spending all weekend at home eating sesame noodles. The winter is built for binging, because, quite obviously, what else are you gonna do?
6. Winter Small Talk
The winter has some pretty pristine small-talk, that you could only really utilize in cold-weather environments. Here are a few examples:
- (Skiing) Conditions are great.
- Conditions are pretty good.
- Conditions aren’t what they were on Saturday.
- Conditions were way better in the super gnar Pleistocene Epoch.
7. It’s A Moving Forward Incubator
Facebook statuses show that just before the holidays and early spring are the most common time for couples to break up. This means that the few months in between (AKA right now) is the time when you’re supposed to be:
A. Adjusting to (and embracing) that single lyfe.
B. Deviously plotting your escape.
Because winter is a time of inaction, it means that you really get a chance to think things through. So when the spring comes and you’re finally ready to re-enter the world, you’ve hopefully used the winter to build some sort of plan around that new persona.
If March represents the New You product launch, Winter is when you really hammer out that infallible New You business plan. Winter then, is the tangible research behind that inspiring TED talk. To drive home the point yet again, it provides the substance that enables the rest of the year’s style.
There are of course, a tremendous amount of downsides to a season that, historically, has never cared about human survival.
That said, you can’t completely knock a season that’s strategically designed for mallomars.