Out with complaints; in with Old Man Winter.
Words by Carly Heffernan
Three things are inevitable in Canada: high taxes, an almost lustful love of hockey, and winter. So here’s my gentle request to 99 percent of Canadians: get into it! No, not the 40 percent income tax bracket—I want you to get into winter. It happens every year. The snow falls, the wind chills and the consistent complaining begins and persists until early April (if we’re lucky). But why? We all know what we’re in for. There are no seasonal surprises here. We’ve all accepted that in exchange for living in the greatest, funniest, most polite nation in the world we will put up with four to five months of surviving inside an actual snow globe. My challenge to “We the North” is to not just accept this Canadian compromise but to rejoice in it, because winter is wonderful!
Come on, say it with me now, you can do it: “Winter is wonderful!” Good, now repeat that 10 times a day until you actually believe it, because it’s true. Winter is magic. When else does your backyard look like Narnia? When else do you have a permanent “healthy glow” in your cheeks? When else do women with apple-shaped bodies (myself included) get to dress to their natural strengths?!
Winter is the gift that keeps on giving. Think of the rush you get when you open your front door and that icy wind whips you in the face. Who needs Red Bull when you’ve got winter?
Think of how excited you are to get to work because you know that sweet central heat is just waiting to melt your frosty appendages. In fact, 111 percent of Canadians only look forward to getting to work in the winter; that’s a fact I just made up but truly believe. Think of how much more awake and aware you are walking to the car because yesterday you slipped on some black ice and ruptured a disc in your back you didn’t even know you had. That’s winter, and it’s wonderful. Winter is action packed! It’s also the main reason Canada wins any medals at the Olympics so, again: get into it! Think of all the wonderful winter activities you can partake in. Skiing, snowboarding, skating, bobsledding, digging out your car after a six-foot snow dump—they’re all great ways to embrace the season. Try snowshoes on the subway, ice sculptures at your next soir?e or shovel your driveway with the same intensity that little girl has in Sia’s “Chandelier” music video—winter can be fun!
At the very least, you can partake in modern hibernation. Like the animals, we shield ourselves from the cold as much as possible during the winter months, but unlike the animals we have wine and Netflix. Use these chilly nights to stay in and catch up on whatever the teenagers are watching. I hear The 100 is good if you like watching attractive people do things, and who doesn’t? Use these brisk evenings to rekindle the flame with that special someone. Rather than go out for a $75 movie night, stay in and light an IKEA candle or two. Get under the blankets to get warm or turn on Barry White to get really warm. There’s a reason so many babies are born in the fall: it’s called winter, and it’s wonderful.
So, enough with the complaining. Enough with the acting surprised. Enough with the pretending none of us remember how to drive when there’s a thin layer of snow on the ground. Yes, it’s going to be cold. Yes, you’re going to get salt stains on the bottom of your pants. Yes, you’re going to fall on your butt if you don’t finally make this the year that you go out and buy proper winter boots. But it’s also going to be fun and exciting and the perfect time to get close and cozy with the ones you love.
Whining is not a very Canadian trait—but wintering well is.
Carly Heffernan is an actor, writer, improviser and alumni of Second City Toronto. She was a member of the awardwinning Sketchersons and continues to party onstage at various comedy venues.