In Australia, we’re currently suffering through the middle of winter, where it’s tempting to hibernate under a mountain of blankets until spring arrives. During these months, I find that my viewing and reading habits change. I crave entertainment that is comforting, rather than challenging; like being wrapped in warm woollen blanket with cup of hot cocoa in hand, nestled up against a roaring fire. I want my entertainment to cocoon me in warmth and make me forget the wintery chill outside, the grey skies, the sleeting rain and the seemingly never-ending string of colds.
Much like when you’re on vacation and want a light and fluffy read for your carefree hours, I want my winter months to be filled with optimism, goodness, and a happily ever after. I need to surround myself with the joyful thoughts of winter’s end and the return of sun and warmth.
It will come to no surprise for most of you that my weapon of choice against Melbourne’s harsh winter is Disney. I’m not secretive about my love for all things Disney and during the cold and often depressing months of winter, I ratchet my Disney intake up a few notches. This year, I’ve delighted in the fact that there is now a dedicated Disney channel on Foxtel, allowing me to watch Disney movies all day and all night, if I were so inclined.
There’s something about the bright hopefulness of good defeating evil which makes Disney animated films a staple of my winter viewing diet. It reminds me of a simpler time: when I was a child and believed in the power of wishes, magic and a happily ever after. These elements were so real to me back then—obtainable—if only I dared to dream.
Likewise, during the cold months, I seek out novels that don’t centre on darkness, death or destruction, but rather: tales of triumph, optimism and wonder. This can be difficult with many YA novels turning towards darkness and centring around “edgy” themes in recent years. That’s not to say I’m looking for novels without conflict, but there needs to be a hint of hope at the end to help fight off the gloom of winter.*
I’m certain that as temperatures begin to rise, and the sun becomes a more frequent visitor to our skies, I will return to my normal broader reading and viewing habits. Until then, I will wrap myself in the security of optimism and the happily ever after.