For most of my life, the whole "getting ready for the holidays" thing coincided with activities like pulling out another sweater box, or buying a new ice scraper for my car. I lived in NJ, upstate NY, and Washington State before I settled in Houston. The stacks of store catalogs that pile up inside my in my mailbox used to have multitudes of uses, from brushing snow off the windshield of my car, to wadding up as fire kindling, to cutting into long triangles and rolling around a toothpick with a dab of glue and making paper beads for garlands, to, well, actually shopping.
My northern European blood means that if I were a plant, I'd be better suited for "hardiness" zone 6 or 7. Houston is a 9. Because direct sunlight and temps in the 90s pose a somewhat hostile environment for me, this is supposed to be *my* time of year. Dammit. According to someone who claims to be a friend, I'm whiter than a Kabuki mime, so I generally welcome winter as the only time I get to have pink cheeks without them being pre-cancerous. Don't get me wrong. I don't think I could handle being Minnesota-cold -- (that'd be, like, zone 3 or 4) -- but this is Houston, for god's sake. It's not like we have to shovel snow or waddle around in Eskimo-worthy down garments. However, it does get cold enough to put away my short sleeved wardrobe and pull out my few remaining sweaters for a couple of months. The temps are often worthy of an extra blanket and most houses are equipped with some sort of heating system. That makes me happy.
I do miss real winter a little, but I've lived in Houston for 16 years now, and have also learned to appreciate not having to start my car well before I need to go anywhere, so I’m getting over it. But I would like to be able to count on a little seasonal change. Just because I don't get snow, it doesn't mean I can't get a little relief from summer, right? I mean, it's the middle of November...
...I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO SPRAY FOR MOSQUITOES!!!