Here, presented as an annual public service, are 50 personally endorsed ways to stay warm during these wintry days - and nights:
1. Think about the presidential campaign, especially your least favorite candidates and what outrageous things they've just said. Don't omit Bill Clinton, who's not formally a candidate but may be the most active of the bunch. For a really heated reaction, imagine what the Mrs. must think but dares not say every time he starts another fight he can't win with Barack Obama.
2. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
3. Fireplaces. (Get that back log just right.) Enjoy the inevitable, heated argument over how to arrange the logs, kindling and accoutrements. My mother-in-law once told me that there are three things every man believes he can do better than any other man; the other two are how to drive and how to build a fire.
4. Popcorn. Or parched peanuts. Pretend you're at a ballgame on a sultry summer night in the spring, under the lights, complete with hot dogs. The home team is behind 3 to 2 in the bottom of the ninth, two out and two men on.
5. A hot bath.
6. Warm thoughts of those you love.
7. Take advantage of any snow. Shovel off the sidewalk. Build a snowman. Maybe a whole snow family.
8. Pillow fights. (Recommended for all ages. Relieves aggression and other symptoms of cabin fever.)
9. A mother's hug. (Good in any season.)
10. Toddies all around.
12. Soup. Chicken soup with rice, followed by vegetable with beef. The thicker the better. Also recommended: lentil.
13. A game of checkers. Chess only when played with a time limit; slow moves freeze the joints.
14. A no-holds-barred, fines-go-to-those-who-land-on-No-Parking, double-rent-on-Boardwalk-and-Park-Place, house-moving, property-stealing, joint-monopolies-allowed, lots-of-shouting-and-muttering, loans-from-bank-and-other-players-encouraged, some-small-thefts-permitted, rent-dodging, all-around cut-throat game of Monopoly. All weapons checked at the door.
15. Old movies set in tropical climes, in which the men wear pith helmets and the women sarongs, with Bette Davis and George Brent always mopping their brows. Start with "The Letter." Avoid "Dr. Zhivago" and "Nanook of the North."
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