The publication of this column coincides with the beginning of winter, which, as anyone who knows me is well aware, has never been my favourite time of year.
Growing up in a family that loved skiing and hockey, I’ve always felt like an outlier in my distaste for the season. I’m not a fan of the cold weather and snow, and I hate how little daylight there is at this time of year. In the past, I’ve tended to practically hibernate throughout the winter, keeping mainly indoors and only venturing outside when necessary.
But this year, as a kind of quasi-New Year’s resolution, I’ve decided to do my best to embrace everything the season has to offer. I’m going to make a point of getting outdoors as often as I can, whether it’s going for a hike, tobogganing, ice skating on a frozen pond, playing hockey on an outdoor rink or hitting up the ski hill.
In some regards, I’ve already started in my goal. A few weekends ago, I went snowshoeing in West Bragg Creek, which was a wonderful outing. It had snowed the night before, meaning the trail conditions were perfect, and the cloudless, blue sky made for a beautiful juxtaposition against the dark green of the area’s countless evergreen trees.
The experience was so enjoyable, I decided to get outdoors again the following weekend – this time venturing out to Big Springs Creek Provincial Park, near Cochrane. I had doubts the scenery would be as pretty in the winter as during the summer, but if anything, it was even more so. Plus, the snowfall that dusted the branches of the trees looked like icing – it was practically a Christmas postcard.
Speaking of Christmas, that’s another event I am doing my best to embrace. Working in community journalism, I’ve learned a lot about the various holiday festivals that take place in Rocky View County at this time of year. I’ve written about or attended several holiday-themed events throughout the last several weeks, including Twinklefest in Crossfield, the Santa Fun Run and Candy Cane Hunt in Chestermere, the Kids’ Christmas Party at New Horizon Mall, and many more.
Along with those events, we cover myriad Christmas markets this time of year, as well as school productions, concerts and charity initiatives that support important community organizations and non-profits. Covering these initiatives and noticing the enthusiasm people have for them has taught me more about the spirit of Christmas, and how community can come together to make this time of year special.
It sounds cheesy, but it’s true.