10 reasons to escape to the cottage this holiday season

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The holiday season is fast approaching, and with it a flood of events, engagements, and responsibilities. Office Christmas parties, family dinners, and jam-packed malls don’t make your winter break very relaxing. So why not get away from it all? Here are 10 reasons why you should escape to the cottage this holiday season.

Wintry gifts can be unwrapped, and unleashed

From toques to toboggans, a holiday trip to the cottage lets you put your newly gifted winter gear to the test. Giftees will be warm, and gifters will know they’ve made the right choice. Even those socks that Santa brings every year will be put to good use.

The harder the work, the sweeter the reward

For many of us, a winter trip to the cottage can be quite an undertaking. Aside from doubling the amount of clothing that we have to pack, some cottagers are faced with the added difficulty of unplowed driveways and laneways. Seasonal properties are often accessed via private laneway, and may be left unplowed by municipalities. This could mean loading up the toboggan for any number of trips to and from the head of the road. For boat access cottagers, this could mean a lengthy trek over ice. (Remember to be sure of ice conditions before you being your trip!)

These voyages, while arduous, are so rewarding. There is an added pride and pleasure to loading up all that one needs and hiking off into the snow. That first cottage beer never tasted so good!

Keeping it simple

The added struggles of access have a secondary benefit. You can be certain that once you have to drag items into the cottage yourself, you’ll bring only what you really need. You can leave behind the clutter and enjoy what truly matters, good food and good company.

Unplug and unwind

The lack of cell service in many of our cottage communities can be a real blessing this time of year. With work responsibilities generally in a lull due to the holiday season, this is the perfect time to enjoy a guilt-free unplugged holiday. Set that out-of-office reply and enjoy the rural bliss you’ve been missing.

No drop-ins

Christmas is a social time, and while we all love to visit over the holidays, it can often become overwhelming, especially when that “good company” shows up unannounced. With a busy holiday schedule, moments of solitude can be few and far between. At the cottage in the winter, you can be almost certain that those who show up, are on the guest list.

A wintry night sky

Ice-cold winter nights bring crystal clear winter skies. For the seasoned astronomer or the curious amateur, winter brings about some the most amazing stargazing opportunities. This is a great time to do a little research and find out which constellations you can only see in winter. A clear sky on a winters night can make you forget all about missing your favourite TV show.

All-day campfires

For the fire-bug in the family, holiday cottaging has an added benefit; campfires are no longer an evening affair. A winter day spent adventuring outdoors is far more enjoyable with a roaring campfire to toast lunches, cook dinners, and dry out soggy mitts and toques. And not needing to run inside to get warm ensures you make the most of the daylight hours.

Booze stays cold in the snowbank

‘Nuff said.

Get to know the locals

One person’s community is another person’s year-round hometown. The rural natural resource and tourism based hubs that support our cottage communities are some of the most interesting places in all of Canada. General stores that are passed down through generations, eclectic art and craft shops, and hole-in-the-wall diners are a treasure trove of friendly faces and rich history. While things are a little less hectic in town, why not take the time to get to know your seasonal neighbours?

The solace of winter

Packed shopping malls, jammed schedules, late nights and early mornings. The holiday season can be a stressful one. The cottage may be just the winter escape you need to relax and recover.

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