Sure, sunshine is nice. It’s very nice, in fact.

  • It’s warm – very nice
  • It provides vitamin D – smiley face
  • It’s bright and makes everything look pretty – high five
  • It makes you happy due to the release of endorphins – awesome star jump

Ahhh, sunshine is indeed very nice.  It also blows my mind that each one of those sun rays that make me happy and warm and the world around me that bit brighter took a full eight minutes and 20 seconds  to travel down to my pale white skin.  Cool fact, hey? …You’re welcome.

All that said, I still don’t really get it: winter sun that is. As a creature of habit, I see the sun as a sign of summer, and as such I look forward to it each year. I look forward to spending lunches in the park, BBQs in my friends’ back gardens, the summer’s major sporting events, building sandcastles on a beach, and, of course, ice cream. There must always be ice cream! I wonder that if there were no winter, would I look forward to summer in the same way that I do now? And could I fully appreciate the summer sun?

Focus on the good of winter

Now, don’t get me wrong. The cold, wind, rain and general greyness that comes with a London winter is not something that I get a kick out of. Those nights where it’s already dark before you leave work and the winds are so strong they make a contortionist of your umbrella are not to be looked forward to and enjoyed.  But that is what I associate with winter, and if it wasn’t so dark, the lights on Oxford Street wouldn’t look so incredible. If it wasn’t so cold, I wouldn’t get to experience the joys of curling up on the sofa with a huge sugar buzz-inducing hot chocolate.  And, if it didn’t snow, there would be no such thing as snowboarding. Such thoughts do not even bear thinking about.

Bansko Ski
Bansko Ski

 

I hope you see where I am going with this. Summer is fantastic, but winter can be pretty cool too. I argue that whilst it is your prerogative to escape the winter months in search of warmer climates, there really is no need. Winter should be embraced and made the most of – by falling over while ice skating, visiting festive markets, attending winter festivals, singing carols, sending cards, building snowmen, snowboarding (obvs), creating beautiful snow angels, donning terrible knitwear, shopping for bargains in the sales, sipping mulled wine, munching mince pies and custard, watching a bunch of feel-good movies, breaking out a few board games, sledding and, of course, eating far too many chocolates.

My winter sun experience

I understand that to make my argument valid I would need to have experienced winter sun, and I have – sort of.  It was December 25th 2007: a sunny Christmas day spent on Coogee Beach with a large group from my hostel. There were no Christmas lights, there was no turkey, the shops were open, the buses ran, the sun shone… and it was all wrong.  I enjoyed the day immensely, yes. But it just didn’t feel like Christmas. Not even the receiving of a pair of socks I was never going to wear from my dear mother bought the feeling of Christmas any closer. I missed the gathering of family, the rubbish toys and equally terrible jokes that fall from broken crackers, and the ridiculously decorated tree. 

Coogee Beach
Coogee Beach

 

Mine is maybe an extreme case owing to being away from home for December 25th, and I realise that winter sun holidays can be taken on dates that do not cover the Christmas period. I also grant that when taking a winter holiday you don’t have to spend months away from home. You could get winter sun from a long weekend away. However, I wonder if having that taste of warmth would make that cold you were trying to escape in the first place that much worse upon your return?

It’s all a question of taste, I guess.  I do kind of understand why some people loath the cold season and seek out the sun in those darker months, but I will always, with umbrella in hand and warming hat on my head, look forward to winter.

Are you a winter loather or lover?  Do you look for an escape to the sun once the nights draw in?  If not, what do you love about winter?

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