Snowstorms are getting quite the reputation these days. They get labeled as Snowmageddons, snowpocalypses, storms of the century and other made-up words designed to make people hate and fear snow. Unless they’re knocking out your power or causing damage to your home, however, snowstorms are actually pretty awesome. Lest we forget the gifts that winter brings us, here are 20 reasons to appreciate those glorious, blizzardy storms. Don’t forget to wear snowpants!
1. Snow days.
Whether you go to work every day or are still in school, a big snowstorm means you get a snow day. There are few things more glorious than getting to sleep late, not working, not going to class and spending the whole day watching movies and going sledding.
2. Bragging rights.
You’ll be able to tell your future kids and people who don’t live in the area that you survived the great blizzard. You can describe to them how even though there was 3 feet of snow and hurricane-force winds, you weren’t scared; you’re used to storms. You’re tough. You sneer at snowstorms. In addition, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you can always embellish the storm to make it sound way worse than it was and tell people about how you had to walk 10 miles through the snow uphill just to buy some whale oil for your lamp so you wouldn’t freeze to death.
Snow days mean sweatpants. You don’t have to put on real pants for the next 24 hours!
4. Pillow forts.
When there’s so much snow that you physically can’t go outside, you have permission to stay inside and build pillow forts with the pillows from your couch.
5. Emergency rations.
You can spend the whole day consuming things like popcorn, cookies and hot chocolate and justify your actions by claiming that these are your emergency rations. They’re all that you have, and you couldn’t possibly be expected to go to the grocery store and get real food in weather like this.
Yes, shoveling sucks sometimes, but don’t forget that it also provides you with much-needed exercise. Less than an hour of shoveling is a full-body workout that will make you use muscles you didn’t even know you had, leaving you sore but feeling healthy and strong instead of like a sluggish, flabby couch potato.
7. Down time.
Assuming you’re not experiencing the kind of terrible storm that knocks out your power, damages your roof, floods your basement and buries you under 50-foot drifts of snow, storms can be relaxing. You’re trapped inside and completely unable to do the things you normally do, which means you’re also unable to worry about the things you normally worry about. Big meeting? Not today. Too many classes stressing you out? Not today; today you have literally nothing to do.
8. You’re forced to think outside the box.
It’s rare to have a completely free day in which you have no obligations, nowhere to be and no deadlines to meet. What do you even do with the gift of a free day? And what if your power goes out? Finding novel activities like snowshoeing or going through old pictures — real, physical photographs — or cleaning out an attic allow you to rediscover old memories or make some unique new ones.
9. You don’t have to drive.
During a bona fide snowstorm, there’s no waffling about whether it’s safe to drive or not: it’s not. No one will think any less of you for being safe and staying inside; there’s a certain kind of relief on those days when everyone agrees that they’re just not going to drive.
You’re at home all day! You can nap whenever you want!
11. Chores are totally irrelevant.
What’s that you say? You have a big pile of laundry to do? Well, there’s a huge snowstorm going on right now, so it would be pointless — nay, even irresponsible — to put things in the washing machine when it’s very possible that the power could go out at any minute.
12. You can do all the random things you’ve always wanted to do but never have time for.
Want to have a Twister marathon? Want to learn to cook in the French style as taught by Julia Child? Want to start learning how to draw? You can do those things during a snowstorm, assuming you have basic life essentials like a Twister mat, a kitchen, pencils and paper.
13. No one’s going outside, so no one’s posting pictures of themselves/their kids/their animals playing in the snow.
For at least one day, you’ll be safe from pictures of people bundled up in parkas and kids bundled up in snowsuits while they throw snow at each other. You can relax in the blissful knowledge that you won’t have to see 500 nearly identical shots of the snow with captions like, “OMG so much snow!” or “So beautiful” or “I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful family.”
14. It’s actually pretty beautiful.
Facebook and Instagram photos aside, a landscape coated in a magical white blanket of snow is usually a lot prettier than a slushy, gray, wet landscape coated in a mixture of salt, dirt, slush and dog pee. Snowstorms can be very peaceful and calming, and taking a walk in the snow after the storm is over is a great way to appreciate winter.
15. You get to wear snow boots.
Come on. Don’t pretend that snow boots aren’t awesome. Don’t pretend you’re too cool to wear boots. Just embrace it and be the most fashionably snow-booted person on your block.
16. Animals either love to prance through snow or are really confused by it.
If you have a cat or dog, chances are that they’ll spend a large chunk of time floundering adorably through the snow, eating snow, rolling in snow and generally having the best time of their lives. If they don’t like it, it’ll still be entertaining to watch them try to figure out what it is, why it’s so cold and how they can walk in it without getting any of it on their paws.
17. Snowflakes are literally special, unique, perfect snowflakes.
They’re amazingly complex and beautiful, and it’s probably true that no two are alike.
18. It creates a surface for skiing and snowboarding.
If you’re into winter sports, you probably love storms because they create real snow, allowing you to enjoy the slopes to their fullest.
19. You can act like a kid.
When the snow lets up, you can sled, tube and slide down hills to your heart’s content. You can make snow angels or even the dorkiest snowman ever, complete with hat, scarf and carrot nose. Everyone does it after a snowstorm. Everyone.
20. Once the storm is over, you get to complain about it.
“Can you believe how much snow we had? My car was buried! My house was buried! I spent 12 hours digging myself out and I’m still not done!” “My apartment is buried under a glacier! I can’t believe I had to miss school yesterday; that storm messed up my entire week.”
… but secretly, you’re glad that it messed up your week.