I'm from Massachusetts—specifically Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is right across the river from Boston. In other words, I grew up in the Northeast next to the Atlantic, so I know cold.
There are so many ways in which the winter temperatures can break your spirit—the least of them being that if you are white, you walk around like a pasty ghost for three months; and if you're not white, you have to deal with every white person in your life being a pasty ghost. Windchill, cold floors, sleet—the winter is a fickle beast, and in order to get through with the least misery possible, you have to be prepared.
My worst case of chapped lips was in seventh grade, when I rubbed my upper lip so raw that I gave myself a dark red chapped moustache. I am female. It did not go over well with my mature and compassionate junior high associates. Always have a tube of chapstick on you to relieve that terrible stinging and shield you from the jeers of bitchy seventh graders.more
2. A hat
Snow will come, as well as sleet, freezing rain, hail, and potentially a downpour of frogs. Ladies, I know the hat hair is a problem, but it's that or have the capillaries in your brain freeze. Feel free to choose.
Buy a jug of cider and pop a mug in the microwave to have every winter ill cured. Maybe it's just a New England thing, but it doesn't matter where you're from: Not liking hot cider means you don't like joy or beauty.
4. Hand lotion
Same as the chapstick. Every drop of moisture in your skin is going to jump ship soon, and you'll need something to soothe the dryness of the Sahara as it cracks your knuckles.
Another wonderful winter snack. Fast, easy, and hot—exactly like me. (LOL but seriously feel free to date me.)
6. Proper coat
None of that midriff-baring crap, or those peacoats that are literally as thin as a pea. If you have to splurge on something, splurge on this. Get a giant down monster, burrow into its embrace, and play chicken with the groundhog before coming out.
If you have never woken up to an unheated floor on a 12-degree morning, then go stand on your head with your feet in the freezer. Don't come back ever. That's kind of what you want to avoid when you put either three socks or one Turbo sock on each foot.
8. Someone to cuddle
I don't care if you need to pay a homeless person to share body heat, the winter demands it. And plus, it's a good way to segue into the budding of spring love. (Yes hi please date me.)
Same as the coat. DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR BOOTS. The second you realize cold water is seeping through the sole of your Ugg, the world collapses. Buy some God damn army surplus snowboots and get over yourself.