Sure, hosting Christmas at the cottage can involve some logistical challenges. Simply fitting food, family, and furry friends into the car—not to mention driving through winter weather—can make staying home a far less labour-intensive option. But we still think all of that work is worth it, and here are 10 reasons why:
1. You can abandon the monotony of the treadmill and get in some functional fitness: shovelling snow for an hour can burn up to 400 calories.
2. Calories, of course, don’t count at the cottage, so if you want to reward yourself for shovelling snow with a mug of hot buttered rum and a plate of shortbread, go for it. Ditto for third helpings of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy during Christmas dinner
3. Everything, indoors and out, is pine-scented—no holiday candles required.
4. Why worry about coordinating baking with turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes and green bean casserole when that great little country bakery in town makes the best pies ever? Stock up on cinnamon buns for breakfast and rolls for dinner while you’re at it.
5. That lovely star on your Christmas tree? It’s a little reminder of how incredibly clear the winter sky can be. Bundle up, flop down in the snow, and do some stargazing.
6. You get to see your year-round cottage neighbours in a whole new light. When you only ever see someone in shorts and a T-shirt (or a bathing suit), you don’t get a chance to truly appreciate his collection of ugly Christmas sweaters.
7. With space at a premium, you can let go of the urge to decorate everything to within an inch of its life. Take your inspiration from nature, hang some pine boughs and berries, and call it a day.
8. Limited space also means you don’t have to feel guilty about not inviting your brother’s college roommate (the one who drank too much last year and ended the evening head-first in the Christmas tree) or your stuffy great aunt who complains about the food every year but never offers to help cook.
9. The snow is white and fluffy and unspoiled—unlike that grey, dirty, slushy mess back in the city.
10. You can extend your gift giving to your feathered friends outside and try feeding the chickadees. A few black oil sunflower seeds and some patience and they’ll be eating out of your hands.