If you know me or this blog at all, you may be surprised by this title. After all, it is no secret that I hate winter. Actually, that is not strong enough. I abhor winter.

As I type these words (Monday March 23), my calendar tells me that spring officially arrived two days ago. On the other hand, weather.com warns me that it is currently -6C outside my window, with windchill that makes it feel like -12C. Oh joy. Winter in Toronto (and most of Canada) is like living in a heated pod inside a giant freezer for four to five months a year. So you can’t blame us for being cynical.

Out of the blue today, I thought it could be fun to challenge myself and come up with 10 things that are great about winter! Yes, I know, I have a strange brain.

Just so there is no confusion, the winters I’m talking about here are winters in nordic countries, winters when the temperatures drop to double digits below freezing, and where the landscape gets coated in a nice layer of snow and ice.

Here is my list of the 10 best things about winter. (Winter sport fans will probably disagree.)

1. Be a slob and leave your dirty dishes out

That’s right. Leave your dirty coffee cup or plate with food remnants on the table and go have a nap or play a video game. It will still be there two hours later without an army of ants and other pests swarming it!

2. Eat and drink steamy hot food

You can drink cappuccinos and eat soup to your heart content without breaking a sweat.

Portuguese soup (caldo verde)

3. No bug bites

The cold weather means that the outdoors (and indoors) are devoid of biting insects, which in the tropics could give you diseases like malaria or dengue fever. Plus being itchy is not fun.

4. Smaller cockroaches

The fact that bugs only have a few months each year to grow before they freeze to death means that even during summer insects will be smaller. This includes cockroaches which, at tropical latitudes, can grow to a frightening size.

5. Delay the occurrence of cataracts

Because of the weak sunlight (if any) that we get for only a few hours a day during winter, cataracts take longer to form, which means your eyes will stay healthier longer.

Gloomy winter day (Toronto)

6. Learn the art of ice carving

Have you ever wanted to learn a new skill? How about ice carving? In winter, the outdoors is your workshop. With this skill you will be in demand in ice bars and ice hotels all over the world. You will also look really intimidating (and cool) wielding the big ice saw!

7. Water reserves

If ever your water system breaks down, or World War III comes to pass, you’ll be able to hoard some of the snow for water reserves (assuming you can find any clean patches in the cities).

Outdoor maintenance

8. Instant freezer

If instead you experience a long power failure, you can just take your food out of the fridge and freezer and store it outside where it will freeze and not spoil. Not sure what that does to eggs though…

9. Germ-killing machine

Leaving things outside for a while is also the perfect way to sterilize them without expensive equipment or hazardous chemicals. No germ will survive these -25C temperatures.

10. Justify the trip

After spending months freezing your a**, you won’t feel any guilt spending money to go on a nice trip to a warm and sunny destination. It’s much better to spend money on a plane ticket than on a therapist, anti-depression medications, or mood lights. For me, that’s probably the best thing of all about winter! 🙂

Typical winter departure day

Hopefully, by the time you read this, spring will really be on its way. If you’re currently sweating in a hot place,  these winter pictures may help cool you down.

I hope you enjoyed this list. Can you think of any other “advantages” of winter?

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