Do you live in a place where you have cold winters? If so, this post is for you.

Where I live, we are currently experiencing cold weather, including snow. My sister-in-law in Minnesota has it worse, but it’s quite cold enough in Kansas City, thanks!

Yes, those are bare trees behind hm.

Pascal Gephardt, my Beloved, hates winter and loves summer. Every year on the Summer Solstice, he exclaims that he can feel the world turning colder with the shortening of the days. 

Sometimes he’ll shiver with dramatic flair and look for a coat, even if the air temperature is in the 90s F (32 C or above). 

And on the Winter Solstice? I’ll let the picture at right tell you how he celebrated it this year. (For a few minutes, until the pictures were taken. Then he hurried back inside). Silly? Well, yes. But I love the creative flair of his response, not to mention the ironic impulse.

Is Winter really bad for you?
There are a lot of reasons to think so, actually. Here’s a great video from DNews, with a number of reasons why winter is a bad idea for humans. 

Less sunlight can cause lower levels of Vitamin D in our bodies, which places us at greater risk for illness. It also can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (appropriate acronym: SAD). No, it’s NOT all in your head. Winter really is out to get you. 

Can Creativity “Cure” Winter?
I wish! But creativity can come in handy when you’re going through it. I’ve collected some of my favorite ideas about creative things to do, that can lighten the winter blues. If you have other suggestions, please share them in the comments section! 

1. Plan your Summer Vacation! When better, right? This is an anywhere-anytime idea. Collect images of your dream destination and paper your cubicle at work (management willing, that is), your refrigerator, or bulletin board with them. Create an idea journal, or just paint lovely pictures in your mind. Consider the possibilities! 

Just walking past Jessica Abelson’s beach-vacation-themed cubicle ought to get the whole office smiling!

2. Have a fireside camp-out. I know people may suggest this for entertaining children–and kids are great generators of creative fun. But who says an adult can’t roast weenies and marshmallows in the fireplace (assuming you have one) for him/herself? 

No fireplace? There are creative ways around that, too. Got candles? Got computer? If you need to look at a fire, those might do in a pinch, though you’ll probably have a hard time roasting weenies on them.

Creative solution for a “Fireside Chat” meeting
theme. Could work in a living room, but it won’t
toast your marshmallows too effectively.

Cradle a tin cup of a warm drink in your hands, watch the flames (however generated), and pretend you’re in your favorite camping spot. 

Play “sound effects” in the background (recordings of all sorts of things are available). Crickets? Birdsong? Waves on the beach? Wolves howling? Be–what else?–creative! 

3. Take a cue from Pascal, and act as if it’s summer. Fix yourself a tall, cold fruity drink (I’ll leave the contents to your taste preferences). Add a parasol, if it helps improve the festive mood (available at party stores or online). Play Bob Marley or the Beach Boys. Make an ice cream treat. Put on a lei, your sun hat, your favorite Hawaiian shirt. 

Lots of ideas for planning gardens large and
small are available online and in books.

4. Plan this spring’s garden. Even you only have a container on your balcony or a planter by your window, winter is the perfect time to browse through gardening catalogs or websites. 

If you have more ground you can cover, consider making more elaborate plans for growth and development. 

Remember, after a winter cooped up inside, getting out in the sunshine will help you make up those Vitamin D deficiencies you’ve developed all winter. 

Best of all, everyone knows fresh-picked veggies are the tastiest, and how better to indulge in cut flowers all summer than to grow your own?

IMAGES: Many thanks to my husband Pascal, for letting me post his photo (which I took), and to DNews for the video. The epic “beach vacation”-themed cubicle is from Jessica Abelson’s “Complete Cubicle Survival Guide.” Check out her other great ideas, too! The “Fireside fix” with the computer image was the creative idea of my friend Tracy Majkol, at a meeting of the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society last May. The garden-planning image is from Wendy’s post, “Garden: Planning,” from the blog This Beautiful Day.