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25 fun things to do this winter

November 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Winter brings holiday cheer, fresh snow and lacy designs on frosty windows, plus a suite of seasonal celebrations that span the globe. Here are 25 fun things to do this time of year.

(CNN)Winter brings holiday cheer, fresh snow and lacy designs on frosty windows, plus a suite of seasonal celebrations that span the globe.

For many, though, winter can mean seasonal depression, and it's arriving at a time when people are already feeling the strain of the pandemic.

But research shows that finding things to look forward to may help offset the blues—consider this list of cold-weather fun a starter kit designed to spark your winter joy.

Winter world traditions

Celebrating the year's longest night — the winter solstice — is an ancient tradition.

Whether you're religious or not, tricking out the house in seasonal décor helps mark winter as a time of year worth celebrating.

While the winter world can seem quiet, there's a lot going on in the animal kingdom this time of year.

Make a snow sculpture.

While making a full-blown snow sculpture takes a bit of planning, your prep work will pay off in credibility with your neighbors.

But a winter snowstorm is a perfect time to whip up a favorite treat called sugar on snow, or maple taffy.

To make it, all you'll need is pure maple syrup, a heavy pot, clean snow and popsicle sticks.

Curling up with a good book is a cozy delight, even more so when you're reading about howling winds, winter adventures and nature's wonders.

You could fill a bookshelf with great winter reads.

For a meditation on the beauty of the far north, Barry Lopez' "Arctic Dreams" is a classic; to learn about how animals survive and thrive in the snow try "Winter World" by biologist Bernd Heinrich.

A recent study by Stanford psychologist Kari Leibowitz found that winter depression correlates not just to dark, cold and snow but to mindset—the set of beliefs an individual holds about the season.

Leibowitz suggests creating a list of all the wintry things that make you happy, whether baking cookies, streaming movies or playing in the snow.

To share the love — and occasional cringes — of holiday movies with people outside of your household, send out invites for a virtual watch party.

If you're like most people in the world — who are very stressed out right now — you could use the extra help this winter.

But focusing on gratitude this winter doesn't require pretending that everything's peachy—instead, it's all about looking for beauty, goodness and joy even amid hardships.

Starting a gratitude journal makes that perspective a habit, one that can pay off in happiness.

First, fill your home with the happy aroma of baking sweets, whether you're making spicy gingerbread or mellow sugar cookies in seasonal shapes.

Long winter nights are perfect for dancing, which brings serious health benefits without the routine workout.

Lend a hand in your community to brighten the winter for everyone, since helping others is shown to help us weather stressful times better.

Many find winter a challenging time of year, and the pandemic has taken a severe toll on mental health.

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