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It's the most wonderful time of the year

— Culture & Observations —

My blog this week isn’t about media or advertising.  It’s not about ratings or ad spending. I’m taking a moment.

In the elevator this morning, where people often comment about the weather, someone mentioned how much they hated winter in Wisconsin.  It got me thinking about the love hate relationship I have with winter in Wisconsin, and the more I thought about it, the more that needle turned toward love. It’s the time of year when the weather turns cold.  The wind is biting.  The air is dry and crisp, stinging your face and chapping your lips.  Noses are runny and even when it’s sunny, the city seems dirtier.  Holiday specials and door buster sales have us all running to the malls and shopping centers for that perfect gift.  Parking lots seem further away from the store entrances, but we make the journey to the door through the pelting sleet and gusting winds anyway, just to see that smile on our loved one’s faces as they unwrap the gift that can’t be found anywhere.  Local radio stations start playing holiday music earlier and earlier every year; some groan at the thought of Rudolph before Thanksgiving.  Regular scheduled programming becomes re-runs from last season and classic holiday specials fill the schedule. Who can resist Charlie Brown?  There is something about that tune that brings us all back to the age of seven, wishing we had a dog named Snoopy, watching those lovable kids in our footy pajamas and sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows.  It seems like it snows everyday and sometimes the heavy white fluff becomes more of a burden than beauty. Alarm clocks are set earlier, so the driveway gets shoveled before work, and the city snow plow comes by anyway and piles another foot at the end. Traffic moves two miles an hour. Its dark on your way to work and dark on your way home from work. The heating bill hasn’t been this high all year.  Still, there is something about winter; the first snow fall, cuddling because you love and because you’re cold. Thankfulness, happiness, heartwarming stories and classic memories that bring us all together in a way not even summer can.

Between the hustle and the bustle of the holidays, take the time to appreciate an untouched snowfall upon moonlit branches. Put aside the pressures at work, the pressures of life and remember being a child.  The excitement you had when you woke up on the first snow day of the season. Remember playing outside all morning and coming in for a grilled cheese sandwich and a steaming hot bowl of tomato soup. It will never taste better than it did at that moment, your cheeks still rosy and cold, socks wet with snow that somehow made it in your boots.  Be thankful for all you have and not dwell on all you are without. Help someone in need.  Put a quarter in the bucket. Continue old traditions and create new memories. Give lots of hugs.  Smile.  Note the beauty of winter like Robert Frost. Feel beyond the cold. You don’t have to be religious to see the true majesty in this time of year. Maybe you’ll even grow to love winter in Wisconsin like I do.

Photo Credit: Aya Rosen

Amanda Janssen-Egan
Posted by Amanda Janssen-Egan