A couple pulls a sleigh through the snow in Jerusalem, Israel.

A couple pulls a sleigh through the snow in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

The shortest day of the year is upon us. With the Earth's axis tilting at 23.5 degrees, everything north of the equator is currently at its farthest possible point from the sun.

Although the altitude of the midday sun will gradually begin to rise from now until the summer solstice, the increase in sunlight hours means nothing for the actual winter weather forecast, which is predicted to be exceptionally nasty this year.

Don't let the frosty weather get you down, though! There are plenty of ways to make the most of the chill, whether it's trying out a new winter recipe, going for a sled ride, maintaining a winter exercise regimen, catching up on your snow day reading list, or just spending quality, cozy "hygge" time with family and friends.



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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.