There’s something about the seasons and the passing of time that seems like a gift for a writer, and although I love all the seasons I think that winter is my favourite of all. Here are a few reasons why.
1. SEEING YOUR BREATH IN THE AIR
When the weather changes and the air around us turns cold, one of the first things I notice is the way my breath turns to vapour as I exhale. It reminds me of when my children were little and we’d pretend to be dragons while waiting for the school bus. As a writer it’s a beautiful thing to describe, the soft swirling clouds that escape from our lips. Absolutely wonderful.
2. THE FIRST FALL OF SNOW
As a child there was nothing more magical than the first snowfall of winter. It was extra special when it came early – in late November – and even better if it meant that school was closed for the day. I was lucky enough to grow up with frozen winters, sledding and making snowmen, and I’m delighted that my children have experienced these, too.
Once again, it’s also a great thing to describe when writing a winter’s tale. The sight of a sparkling blanket of snow on a December morning can be the perfect opener for a Holiday story.
3. SWEATER WEATHER
I love winter clothes. LOVE THEM. Warm sweaters, fluffy socks, an array of scarves and gloves to brighten up my woolen coat. There’s nothing more exciting for me than the first time I can put on my favourite sweater and cosy up on the sofa. Bliss!
4. COMFORT FOOD
I’m a happy cook, and one of the best things about winter is the aroma of food after you come in from a long day at work. Winter is when I get my electric crock pot out and fill it up in the morning, and come home to a warming casserole or stew. Though I love salad as much as the next girl, I adore a slow-cooked steak with a beef gravy and dumplings. It’s just a shame I have to visit the gym more often to make up for it!
5. FAMILY RITUALS
I think every family has their rituals, and mine is no different. Since my children were tiny we’ve all loved a hot chocolate before bedtime in winter, and now they’re teenagers they still beg me to put some milk on to boil. Our favourite way to drink hot chocolate is with whipped cream and marshmallows, though we’ve also tried M&Ms, Maltesers and anything else that’s sweet enough to melt our teeth. This is one of those rituals I know I’ll miss when they grow up and move away.
6. DARK NIGHTS
Here in London the nights start to get dark at around 4p.m. Some people hate that, and though I can understand why (particularly those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorders) I love it. I’m happiest when pulling all the curtains shut, switching on the lamps and lighting up some candles. If we can watch a movie and snuggle up with the children on the sofa, all the better.
As an avid people watcher, dark nights have another advantage. When I take the dog for a walk, I notice a lot of people don’t pull their curtains. It’s amazing what inspiration you can find, both for stories and for decorating, when you’re being nosy!
7. HAPPY HOLIDAYS
This one goes without saying. Winter is the season of holidays. Whether it be Hannukkah, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Kwanza, there are so many things to celebrate. Add to that the wonderful night that is New Year’s Eve and I’m pretty much a party animal. From early December I’m already planning our holidays, cooking and buying and wrapping. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than making my family happy.
So there you have it. A few reasons why, for me, winter is the best season of all. I’d like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and hope that your holidays, whatever they may be, bring you peace and happiness.
Carrie Elks lives near London and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. She has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and Twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.