Winter Doldrums be Damned
Updated: Aug 4
At the end of today, the holidays are pretty much over.
I say "pretty much" because technically Christmas lasts until the 6th of January when the three kings finally get to Jesus and the Epiphany happens. A quick question about this - were Mary, Joseph, and Jesus just, like... hanging out in a stable that whole time? I feel like they could have sorted something a little more comfortable out over the first 12 days of Christmas. Unless maybe there was some mommy blogger in Judea at the time who wrote on some broken bits of pottery about raising your child around animals to instill a deep sense of connection to the natural world and Mary was like, "YES. That is my mamalosophy!" If anyone has any information about this, do share.
Anyway, let's face it - by January 2nd, you are well aware that it is winter and that there is nowhere to run anymore. There is no Christmas on the horizon to make you feel safe. The holidays are over, and you have to live through it. Well, Queer Martha is here to help you fight off those dastardly winter doldrums! You may not know this, but winter is my favorite season. Let me share with you some ideas that will help you learn to love the winter, too.
1.) Before you put your decorations away, wear your Christmas stockings around the house like a fucked up elf.
I swear to God this works.
2.) Make January feel special with well-timed cake! Can't be sad when there is cake to be had. But not just any cake! Special January cake. (Cake can also be pie/tart/torte. Please don't think I am trying to limit you.)
In France, the Epiphany is sort of celebrated during the entire month of January because bakeries keep selling the delicious galette des rois, or king cake. There is no reason you shouldn't join in the fun. Well, I suppose the reason that you shouldn't join in is because it is difficult to find a galette des rois in the states, but that is why David Lebovitz came through with this recipe.
But you don't have to celebrate the Epiphany! You can celebrate any damn thing you want to with a cake! Cakes are so versatile! You can start a made-up family holiday that lasts throughout January and fete it with a sugary speciality. The important thing is that you only ever eat that particular cake in January, otherwise it loses its magic. On February 1st, that cake is dead to you.
3.) Right when the special cake season ends, celebrate Candlemas on February 2nd!
"Candlemas?" you say, "Why would I celebrate baby Jesus being presented at the Temple in Jerusalem 40 days after his birth when I can celebrate Groundhog Day?" Oh, I don't know, how about because Candlemas is celebrated with God Damn National Crepe Day in France - soon to be INTERNATIONAL Crepe Day when this blog is unleashed.
Look at them celebrating Candlemas!
It's not clear to me why the French celebrate Candlemas with crepes. I think it might be one of those things that is so tenuously related at this point you don't ask questions any more, you just eat crepes. The important thing here is that you, too, are eating crepes on February 2nd as you think about how the winter is kind of half over. You're going to make it.
4.) Cheese! Any cheese that has to age 6 - 8 months is going to taste great in the winter because that means that it is made from milk pulled in the summertime when the grasses and wildflowers are the most prominent. Isn't that something to be so excited about! Sure, come summer you can gorge yourself on chevre frais, but why don't you cuddle up with a nice cave-aged Comte this March and savor the flavor of wildflowers folded into that milky mass of wonderful?
Additionally, all the shitty cheese you buy this winter can be melted into FUNDO (that's a cute way of saying fondu). Fon-don't miss out on your winter opportunity to give all your friends sharp sticks and tell them to cover stale bread with molten cheese. If that isn't enough to make you love winter than you are either crazy or lactose-intolerant.
Now you have ideas to make January, February, and March less shitty. Stay tuned to see if Queer Martha takes any of her own advice or if she just complains about the lack of snow for the next 3 months.
Happy new year!