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  • Tim McGill

Chicago Winter Survival Gift Guide

The Thrill Is Gone

Me (second from left) and my brothers enjoying a wonderful winter in our youth

As much as some of us might want to prevent it from happening, there is no stopping winter. For me it is part of the three big inevitables; death, taxes and winter. My attitude towards winter wasn't always so negative. I actually enjoyed snowstorms in my youth. My memories of growing up in Schaumburg include my brothers and I playing in the snow all day long and then coming home and stripping down to our skivvies. We would pile up our hats, scarves, gloves, snowsuits, etc. into a huge pile by the front door. Mom would scoop up the mess and bring it down to the basement to toss in the drier. After some hot chocolate and a time to thaw out she would gather up the dry winter armor and we would be off into the cold for round two or three or whatever.

My granddaughter having a tough time thinking about facing her second winter.

When Life Gives You Winter, Make Some Joy

Nowadays it seems like winters aren't something to enjoy but rather something to survive and somehow find a way to get through until glorious spring arrives. I came across a quote recently that made me think I might need an attitude change.

"If you choose not to find joy in snow .... you will have less joy in your life and still the same amount of snow"

How much "joy" should we expect this winter? Check out my winter forecast to get an idea.

This was me making the most of a snowstorm that hit while on a hike in the Rockies a few winters ago.

My Winter Essentials Gift Idea List*

So in an effort to help you get through this winter, whether you welcome or dread it, I have put together a list of items that might make this season a little easier. These are things you might want for yourself or you might want for someone you are buying gifts for this holiday season.

So here I go in no particular order...

Stay warm while using your iPhone or Android phone. These gloves use highs sensitive conductive material to allow you to use your touchscreens effective. They are stretchy for a good fit with a wool inner lining. With nearly 9000 reviews it has a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

If you plan to keep your phone firmly in your pocket while outside this winter then you might want to try these Carhartt waterproof, breathable and insulated gloves. Your fist bumps will never feel more comfortable.

Zippos aren't just for concerts anymore. The Zippo Hand Warmer is made of metal but is sleek and thin enough to fit into your pocket. It stays warm for up to 12 hours.

Stop scraping this winter. This universal windshield cover fits most vehicles and includes two windproof straps to help it fit snugly to your car.

There is another option to save yourself from scraping. Melt ice fast and with Prestone Windshield De-icer.

Keep warm in this versatile fleece composite head cover that can be used as a hat, scarf and mask. It's warm, comfy and one size fits all.

This ultra soft faux fur Sherpa blanket looks good, feels good and can keep you cozy on the coldest nights. East to care for by just washing separately in cold water. It gets softer after each wash.

Don't forget your furry friends this winter. These cozy beds are perfect for them to curl up in. Quick and easy to clean and they feature a waterproof bottom.

Keep your babies bottoms comfortable this winter with the Munchkin Mist Wipe Warmer. It keeps wipes warm and moist for easier diaper changes.

Treat yourself to a warm towel after a bath or shower with this Brookstone towel warmer. Works great for blankets and robes too. Warms up to 120° in just 10 minutes

With more than 2000 reviews and counting this portable ceramic heater has a 4.5 stars rating out of a possible 5. This 1500 watt unit has eleven different temperature settings and has a convenient carry handle. Take it into the kitchen, the bathroom or wherever you need to warm things up.

This miniature waterproof lighter fits perfectly on your key ring. Great for campers. It's a fully working lighter that will always be by your side.

Keep all your drinks warm this winter whether its coffee, tea or hot chocolate. There is a light indicator to let you know when your liquid of choice is hot. Its light and small and ready to take anywhere.

I own two pairs of these Columbia Bugaboots. They keep my tootsies warm all winter and are waterproof too. 200g insulation locks the warmth in. They are temperature rated for -25°.

Last but not least...

Go bears!!!! This retro Bears hat will help you Bear down for this winter.

Happy holidays and thanks for checking out my blog!

*Disclosure: Some of the links on my site are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.


Disclosure:  Some of the links on my site are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.