Wow! Winter came fast this year!
As my least favourite season, I usually spend my late autumn lamenting the coming of the cold.
But this year the winter set in so fast, I didn't really have time to think about it.
On the whole, I have decided to chalk this one up as a victory therefore, because my lack of appreciation for this time of year will be reduced by a few weeks.
An odd fact of life is that, despite my loathing of the cold, my favourite events and holidays fall during this season.
Dickens Festival Village is coming, for example.
Covering events week to week, sometimes the lines get a little blurry, and I occasionally have to remind myself which event it is that I am at.
Dickens fest however, I never need reminding.
As a reader, a writer, and an armchair historian, the Dickens fest is right up my alley.
The dress, the sentiments of Christmas, all those wonderful things, comes together over two days here in Carlyle, and I have an absolute blast covering it.
Following hot on the heels of my favourite local event is Christmas, of course.
Christmas is my favourite holiday by far.
The sentiments of peace on earth, and good will to all, are ideals that I hold closely in my heart (I am an endless optimist and idealist by nature,) and the mood of Christmas seems to infect everyone.
To see good cheer twinkling in so many eyes is a heart warming sight, and the holiday more than makes up for the time of year it falls in.
After Christmas, it is time for New Year.
New Year is another important concept in my mind, the opportunity to begin afresh.
After the Christmas holiday, the New Year often carries with it the positivism and echoes of good cheer that the former holiday frames.
While I have always had an ambivalent relationship with time (it is just so inconsistent!) declaring a start point for a new beginning, no matter how arbitrary that start point is, is really a wonderful chance to improve yourself and your situation over the next 365 days.
Also to deal with winter, I try and remember how beautiful everything is when the snows are upon us.
Looking out a window at a snow covered tree, or rolling fields of pristine white, is likely one of the most beautiful sights in the world, hence the use of winter scenes on so many screen savers.
Once people have dressed up their homes with lights and Christmas decorations and ornamentation, this also creates some beautiful winter sights.
While things like having to clean off the car, and the cold drafts from under the door, all add to my loathing of winter overall, I try and keep those winter scenes, events and holidays in mind, to keep me from feeling too bad about the cold.
Regardless of how I feel however, winter has arrived.
This year Old Man Winter came quickly and quietly, and snuck up on me unawares.
So to that I thank Jack Frost, because I am finding that, without the weeks I spend in dread of the cold and snow, winter this year will likely be somewhat easier to stomach.
Further, Dickens will now be a snow-white event (as I feel it should be,) which always adds to the atmosphere of the festival.
For those who love the winter, who find great joy in the snowy activities and the refreshing bite of a cold wind, I am envious of your ability to find joy in the season itself.
As for those who share my feelings about winter, my suggestions are simple to help you through this season.
Enjoy a winter activity this year that you haven't tried in the past. With a little perseverance, you just might find something to keep you happy through these months.
Let yourself appreciate the beauty of the season, because this time of year does have some breathtaking sights to offer.
Finally, keep your chin up and remember, spring is one day closer.