Picture it: a grey – blue-sky, old-school street lanterns adorned with poinsettias, softly falling large white flakes on a street blanketed with perfectly unmarred snow. The stereotypical winter wonderland that everyone pictures when moving to Canada.
Of course, on the other hand, there are those that picture Canada as the farthest reaches of the north where we are at -40 Celsius and have polar bears lounging in our backyards.
A first Christmas in Canada is an experience on its own. The first snowfall will catch you off guard and vanish just as quickly as it came well before December comes. The second snow fall will leave you wishing the snow would stay so you could experience the typical winter activities of making snow angels, having snowball fights and drinking hot chocolate before a fire. The truth? You will get to do all of this. And then like the rest of us, the love and yearning for Christmas and winter will turn into a complicated relationship.
The thing is, with snow comes the cold and with the cold comes the ice and eventual slush. This freeze and thaw of the winter leads to complicated feelings. However, despite the love – hate relationship we all feel, winter comes with its own exciting activities. From skating to skiing and hot chocolate curled up on the couch, winter has a lot to offer if you’re willing to brave the cold.
The trick is, preparing yourself adequately to brave the cold. Naturally, the list may change depending on where in Canada you are but here’s some basic tips from a seasoned Canadian immigrant:
- Wear a warm down jacket to ward off the cold. A jacket will be a saving grace so make sure you consider it an investment.
- Purchase a warm set of gloves. While it may seem sufficient to simply stuff your hands in pockets, we all need to use our hands from time to time and it’s at times like these that the cold begins to seep deep into your bones. There’s even ones for tech savvy people who like to text and walk.
- This sounds basic but a good pair of waterproof boots are a must. With the amount of snow and slush that winter brings, the last thing you need is catching a cold because you have wet socks. Also, while no amount of traction will stop you from slipping on ice, boots with good traction and thick soles will make all the difference when trudging through heavy snows and icy patches.
And there you have it, the basic starter pack to surviving a Canadian winter.
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