When winter begins (and certainly by the time March rolls around), it’s not long before the weather griping ramps up and people start wishing the season away. But why rush it? Yes, the season often includes cold, ice and snow — but there’s so much to love about the season! Here are just a few of the reasons why you may want to embrace the winter wonderland.

10. Long-simmered meals

A pot of beans bubbling away during a chilly Sunday afternoon; the slow cooker doing its leisurely magic while you’re at work … once summer comes, say goodbye to the deep flavors, ease and comfort of slow-cooked meals.

9. No weeding

While the end of winter is a time to become lost in dreams of summer tomatoes from your garden, somehow the arduous task of weeding is always absent from such reveries. Enjoy the lack of weeding while you can.

8. Humidity-free hair

woman wrapped in scarfWhen you're prone to frizziness, dry winter air can do wonders for your hair. (Photo: luxorphoto/Shutterstock)

OK, your skin may be suffering; but for those of us with locks prone to defiant frizz and obstreperous curls, dry winter air is a blessing.

7. End-of-winter light

The winter solstice marks the shortest day of year, but it is also the day in which the sun enjoys its lowest arc through the sky. By the summer solstice, the sun will be on its highest arc; until then, a low sun makes for truly incredible light and shadows. Photographers, take note.

6. Justifiable hibernation

Does sleeping in on a bright, hot and humid summer weekend morning sound all that inviting? Nope. Does sleeping in on a dark, snowy, cold winter morning – buried in blankets with a book awaiting nearby – sound good? Enough said.

5. Hot drinks

chocolate mythsA warm mug of cocoa on a cold day definitely seems to have therapeutic qualities. (Photo: Africa studio/Shutterstock)

Nothing beats the comfort-giving qualities – and health benefits! – of a warm mug of something hot to drink. Be grateful with one of these 17 healthy & delicious hot drinks.

4. Personal grooming

It’s possible that some of us may take a bit of a break in the grooming department when we’re in boots and constantly swathed in layers of wool during the winter months. Shorts-and-sandals weather makes pedicures, shaving, and the like much harder to avoid; enjoy the break.

3. The ethereal beauty of frozen things

Because you will miss photos like these: 11 surreal shots of the Windy City's frozen shore, 7 wonderful frozen spider webs, 15 impressive winter creations and 18 perfect snowflakes.

2. Ice surfing, snow polo and other oddball arctic activities

men snow kayaking at Red Bull eventWhy go sledding, when you can kick it up a notch and go snow kayaking? (Martin Lugger/Red Bull Photofiles)

It’s not too late; there’s still time to take that waxed boat down the slope for an afternoon of snow kayaking … or any of these other wonderfully wacky winter sports.

1. Thundersnow!

Summer storms have their charm, but nothing beats thundersnow for freaky weather phenomena and ample Facebook status update material.