Thinking winter in July: My trick for convincing myself I'm cool

One of my favorite ways to keep cool when it gets hot like this is to get in a wintery state of mind.

It's not as hard or as crazy as it sounds.
I happen to be a sucker for Christmas – the food, the music, the traditions. I love it so much that Rob and I got married last Christmas Eve. Ahh, that was nice. And so snowy and cold.

So – my approach to dealing with prolonged summer heat is to trick my brain into thinking it's winter.
I first realized the power of this one summer when I was about 8 or 9, and reading “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Blog PhotoMy mom interrupted me around the time the Ingalls were desperately twisting straw into logs to fuel the wood stove, and the snow was creeping up to their second-floor windows. I had to go walk the dog.

“But mom, I can't because it's so snowy ...” I told her, trailing off when I realized it was, in fact, July. I remember feeling so deliciously cold.

Now, I do this with Christmas music and movies. I'll pop in “Elf” or “Love Actually” and wait for my brain to think it's actually December outside. Blankets are optional – and probably not necessary when it's this hot.
I've also been known to make gingerbread cookies in the middle of summer, but you'd have a hard time convincing me to turn on the oven this week. You can achieve a similar effect by reading Christmas cookbooks - these are my favorite - and I like to daydream about baking up a storm or having a Christmas party.

What about you – have any fun ideas for tricking your brain into thinking you're cool?

And, to help you get started on feeling cool, here are a few photos of our Christmas wedding that I've never posted before, by Robert K. O'Daniell. I think it snowed four inches that day!
 

Meg Dickinson is a features writer at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. If you'd like to get in touch, follow her on Twitter or send her an email.

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Julie Wurth wrote on July 21, 2011 at 9:07 am
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Oooh, I feel cooler just reading this. I remember feeling the same way when I read "The Long Winter," although I can't remember what season it was outside. I tend to save Christmas movies for the late fall, part of our anticipation of the holiday, but we watch "Elf" year-round! Such a great movie.

Love the photos!

Meg Dickinson wrote on July 21, 2011 at 9:07 am
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Thanks! And I finally broke down and bout "Elf" last year. Thinking this year's addition to my Christmas movie collection will be "White Christmas."