We had the first dusting of snow in Chicago last week, and temperatures dipped below the freezing point over the weekend, so clearly the weather is telling me: It’s winter. Thus it’s time to think about what should be on my winter list.

Given that I have a list for making sure I “have a summer,” and a list for fall to savor my favorite season, I figure I better have one for winter as well. After all, there are many things that make a winter. For me, they are:

  • Go sledding
  • Go iceskating (perhaps, this year, even some ice skating lessons)
  • Sip Glühwein (hot spiced wine) at Chicago’s downtown Christkindlmarket
  • See the play A Christmas Carol
  • Make S’mores in the fireplace
  • Bake Striezel (my grandmother’s braided sweet yeast bread)
  • Knit something
  • Photograph homes with kitschy Christmas decorations
  • Have a Chanukah Open House
  • Roast chestnuts


Leaves gathered during our hike in Starved Rock, now pressed
my guide book.

Looking back on my fall list, I am happy to note that I did everything, except roast chestnuts, so that’s why that appears here again. And we didn’t manage to go hiking in the Indiana Dunes, but since we go sledding there, that state park will see us soon enough.

Did you have a list for fall? And how about one for winter? Even if winter isn’t your favorite season, there are still plenty of things to enjoy, and it’s especially good to think beyond the holidays to counteract that January slump in spirits.