Top Ten Tuesday: Things I Like About Winter and the Holidays

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Two years ago, I used the early December freebie post to talk about why winter and the winter holiday season is hard for me.

This year I thought I’d follow up to that post with a list of things I like about winter and the winter holiday season.  Some of these answers are bookish while others maybe not so much.

Photo of orange blister packs filled with pills. 1. Fewer Migraines

Last summer when wildfires were burning out of control across Canada and pollen counts were high, I had two to three times as many migraines as I normally would have because both pollen and air pollution are triggers for me. Combining those two things together was not good for my health at all.

I will still have migraines this winter as some of them are unavoidable for me, but they will hopefully be back to my baseline number of them instead of the rough few months I had over the summer.


An orange cat blissfully sleeping in a white cat bed. Its head and paw are resting on the side of the bed so that the viewer can see them. The rest of its body is hidden behind the side of the bed. 2. Better Sleep

With fewer migraines and no seasonal allergies to deal with, I’m going to be getting much more restful sleep this winter as long as I don’t catch any winter illnesses. There’s nothing like sleeping deeply and waking up refreshed!




Hardback books neatly lined up on a wooden desk that is sitting right in front of a large picture window. The window overlooks a snowy winter street where a pedestrian is walking down the centre of the road because the sidewalks are filled with snow. 3. More Time to Read

Yes, some people relish plenty of outdoor time on cold, snowy, slippery days…but I am not one of them.

When the weather outside is frightful, I stay home and catch up on my reading.

There are so many books I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t had the chance to dig into yet.

This winter could put a serious dent in my TBR list, especially if we get the heavy snowfall that some meteorologists say could happen for Ontario this year.




4. Warm, Hearty Meals

I love chili, stew, soup, spaghetti, cottage pie, and all sorts of other cold-weather dishes that aren’t very A close-up photo of a bowl of vegetable beef stew in a blue bowl. The bowl is sitting on a wooden surface. practical to cook or appetizing to eat when it’s 40 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit) outside and the humidity levels are  90%.

This time of year, though, is perfect for eating a bowl or plate of food that you know will keep your belly warm and full as the snow falls thickly outside and the temperature drops below zero.



A peeled mandarin orange has been broken into five segments. It’s sitting on a white surface next to the mandarin orange peel that once held this fruit.

5. Mandarin Oranges 

In related food news, mandarin oranges are in season again. I try to choose my diet based on what’s in season as much as possible, so citrus is a nice break from the apples and bananas that make up so many of my fruit servings over the winter.



A white woman who has brown hair and is wearing a chunky white sweater is reading a hardback novel as she sits next to a fireplace. The fireplace is in a circular fire pit in the centre of the room. You can see a stack of chopped wood next to it ready to add to the flame as needed. 6. Enjoying Winter-y Reads 

These past several years, I’ve read and reread winter-themed books over the winter.

It’s kind of fun to read books about characters dealing with snowy, slippery, and stormy conditions when many of us in the Northern Hemisphere will be doing the same thing for the next three to four months (or longer for folks who live in the far north!)

C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol are on my re-read list for this winter. I don’t yet know which other books fitting this theme I might also read or reread, but I’m sure I’ll find something.

(If you have suggestions for nonfiction, mysteries, or speculative fiction set during the winter, I’d love to hear them!)



A photo of a tree and car-lined street. There is a row of houses behind the cars. Everything in this scene is covered with a gorgeous layer of snow and possibly some ice that adorns everything in a flowery white covering. It looks almost magical because of how every little branch and bump of these things have been smoothed out.


7. The Beauty of Winter

This isn’t a photo of my neighbourhood, but it does capture just how pretty the world can be after a good snowstorm.

I love the way snow softens the harsh lines of everything and adds a gentle touch to what can otherwise be a relentless sea of black, brown, and grey colours over winter.

It’s also interesting to walk around outside during or after a snowstorm and notice how much quieter even the city can be when snow is muffling all of the noises that machines, people, and animals make.



A photo of a white cup filled with hot chocolate and six big marshmallows. the cup is sitting on a wreath of pine branches and brown autumn leaves that have been arranged around it in a circular pattern. There are three extra marshmallows on this wreath, and everything is sitting on a wooden table. 8. Seasonal Treats

I’m sure this is true just about everywhere right now, too, but November and December are when Toronto’s grocery stores fill up with all sorts of delicious seasonal treats. For example, there’s a specific brand of kosher chocolate I always keep an eye out for over late autumn or the winter because there are no milk products in it and it’s not available the rest of the year.

Now is also when I stock up on candy-cane flavoured stuff, dairy-free hot chocolate, and whatever else catches my eye when I’m buying groceries.


A photo of an incredibly content hamster sitting in a dark green mug and eating a seed. The mug is sitting on a dark red surface that has a string of white lights lying on it. 9. Winter Light Displays

You see them for all sorts of different winter holidays in Toronto.

I love the fact that I can walk around and enjoy them without being responsible for planning how to arrange them, putting them up, replacing their burnt-out bulbs, or taking them down again in January.

Thank you to everyone who has the time and creativity for these sorts of decorations! You make a lot of strangers who pass by and notice them very happy.

I’m sharing this photo mostly because it’s adorable, although it does fit the theme somewhat.



A photo taken of snow that has blown into straight, even lines. It looks like someone plowed the snow this way, but I think it happened naturally as a result of bumps and crevasses on the land the snow fell on. In the distance, you can see the blurry image of a hilll, some evergreen trees, and a few trees that have lost their leaves for the winter. 10. Quiet Days 

Years ago I used to work in jobs that were incredibly busy in November and December.

It was always a huge relief to make it to the end of December and know things were going to be much less hectic for the next few months. (Please be nice to everyone in the service industry this holiday season and always! They work really hard to help make your celebrations special).

I love the feeling of walking through quiet stores, neighbourhoods, or parks just after the holiday season ends and most people have returned to their regular daily routines. It’s such a peaceful moment in life.


Filed under Blog Hops, Personal Life

68 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Things I Like About Winter and the Holidays

  1. I love all the positives of winter. I’m not a big fan either, but I do love snuggling up in blankets with a good book:-)

  2. There are no seasons where I live, but reading this post made me wish we had winter. Great list!

  3. All of these are fantastic. Great post, Lydia ☕📚☃️❄️🩵

  4. I totally relate with both your posts, from this year and two years ago. I have my husband but no family near us, and I often feel quite isolated, but I also love the coziness of winter and the holiday season. We don’t really do anything for Christmas because it’s just the two of us, but we sometimes go out driving to see Christmas lights and decorations and they are always beautiful.

  5. Great list! I tend very much not to be a winter person as a rule, so it’s nice to be reminded of the up-sides!

  6. OMG, that hamster pic is adorable. I’m sorry that the wildfires affected you so much this year. Living as close to California as I do, it’s something I deal with way too much (plus, we also have a lot of wildfires locally, too). Too funny you mentioned mandarins though – bought some just last week. 😀

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

  7. Wonderful list! I also love seasonal treats and warm winter meals. Soups and stews are among my favorite foods.

    One of my favorite wintertime SFF books is Connie Willis’ novella Take a Look at the Five and Ten. It’s cozy and festive, and I have really enjoyed reading it in the winter.

    Here’s my TTT post this week.

  8. I wish I could say I was getting better sleep this winter. I do love quiet days and lights displays.

  9. Migraines are the worst, I’m glad you don’t get them in winter. I like to watch the Narnia movie every winter, Sometimes I reread the book, but the movie has something special, I especially love the Soundtrack

  10. I hope you enjoy your winter-y books this season, Lydia (Narnia is a fun read) and you enjoy good night’s sleep with less migraines this season too. Sleep is always a must for helping us have good days. 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting my website today.

  11. Fabulous list. So glad that winter brings with it relief from your migraines. Hearty meals are a favorite of mine this time of year as well. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.

  12. Love all your reasons and winter is my favourite month too, especially because its so much cooler at night so better sleeping.

  13. Love this post! I usually struggle with the winter months but it’s good to look at everything posotive winter has to offer as well, so thanks for reminding me 🙂

  14. This is a great post! I love seeing the snow and I enjoy reading all the books.

  15. Great list of things to like about this time of the year. I, like you, especially enjoy the hearty meals.

  16. Wonderful list! We rarely get snow over here in Jersey (British Isles) so it’s a real treat to see snowy photos and read your descriptions. I love to reread/listen to both The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at this time of year, it’s a tradition for me too.

  17. I love all of these! I love winter – I like looking out at a beautiful snowy field, I like the holiday displays and celebrations, I like the cozy vibes, snacks by a fireplace – but don’t make me go outside! I will look at the pretty snow and ice, but don’t want to be out in it!

  18. I’m with you on the food. 🙂 But all of your reasons really. The beauty of winter is it’s own thing, and I like what you said about thr snow muffling the sounds of the city.

    Let’s see- wintery reads. Have you read The Wolves of winter by Tyrell Johnson? I thought it was quite good.

  19. I get a lot of seasonal allergies (at the moment actually as it’s just summer here) but this year I found a new medication that has been helping a lot! I’m not much of a winter person but I do love being tucked up inside under a blanket reading a book when it’s awful weather outside. I just have having to go out in it.

  20. Joanne

    Great reasons to love winter even if you’re not really a winter fan. I love snow but we hardly ever get it here in Edinburgh. I know you can get a lot in Ontario!

  21. Everything about this is wonderful, except migraines. I’m glad you at least have fewer. My daughter suffers from them, too. So awful. Enjoy the lovely winter.

  22. Great list – I also love cold weather and snow for all the coziness of being inside.

    I will go out and play (build snowpeople) when I have the opportunity, but the feeling of being hugged by our little house when we’re inside watching a winter storm blow by.

  23. Ten great reasons to like the winter/holiday season! And yay for less migraines and better sleep for you. Hope that continues through the holidays. 😀

  24. Yes, I love to read in winter. And I am definitely a seasonal reader. I prefer my book setting to match mine, if at all possible. Ha! And give me all the soups!

  25. Such a beautiful post! I love all your pictures! I’m not one who relishes winter outdoor activities either, but it’s wonderful to stay inside, cozy by a fire, with the view of the snow outside.

  26. These are so many fantastic reasons! And I love winter for many of the same reasons.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  27. I love all these reasons! I’m glad that your health improves in the winter and leads to better sleep. That must be a huge relief.

    I re-read A CHRISTMAS CAROL every year because I love it so much and it always helps me get into the Christmas spirit. I re-read THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE this year as well. It’s such a great read and very wintry.

    My husband and I are traveling to Washington State this weekend and we’re a little worried about the weather. I love the snow—except when I have to travel in it! We’ve lived in Arizona for 20+ years, so we’re out of practice. LOL

    Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!


  28. Terrific post! I love so much of what you mentioned — especially more time to read and SOUP (big fan of steaming, chunky soups in winter). Sadly, I no longer live somewhere with actual winter weather, but so many great memories from my early years revolve around enjoying snow days and bundling up.

  29. What a great list, Lydia. I like all of those things as well, but because I head south in January, those allergies don’t stay away for long.

  30. Mandarin Oranges are the best!

  31. I found that my “seasonal allergies” were no more and no less than chemical sensitivities. The real primary cause was chlordane. Once that was banned, a girl who named herself “Weepy Weed” became–mostly–allergy-free! There are a few others that still make me sneeze, though. Sneezing and even asthma can be part of my reactions to *massive* glyphosate vapor exposure but usually indicate that some other chemical has been sprayed. Just fwiw…

  32. We have the love for winter in common. There’s so many things to enjoy about winter, but I really like taking things slower and having the ability to just relax. And I’m glad that you are able to find some dairy free chocolate in the winter!

    If you’re looking for a good wintery read, I’d suggest City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita. I really liked that one. Happy winter to you!

  33. Vidya

    i love the atmosphere, the festive feel, and oh 👍🏻, the seasonal treats most of all.. plus all those wintery reads and shows and everythings..
    My post is here

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