7 Things You Are Allowed to Do in Houston When It's Actually Cold Outside

It is so rarely cold in Houston. Houston only sees about 18 days per year where the temperature reaches the freezing point. We almost never get snow or ice, which is good since everyone seems to go absolutely bonkers when we do. Our winters are exceptionally mild. Hell, I had on shorts and flip-flops on Christmas Eve, and if the forecast in the upcoming week is to be believed, I'll probably have that outfit on again soon.

In my opinion, that's a wonderful thing. Who wants to wrap themselves in five layers of clothes, chip ice off the windshield of the car and hope your eyes don't freeze open every day? However, it seems like we have grown so unaccustomed to winter weather, we think that 65 degrees is an excuse for some all-out winter behavior. It's not. But, when the high is only going to be 49 -- cold for a Houston day -- it's your chance to embrace the cold and do those things you aren't allowed to do the rest of the year.

Wear a real, honest to God winter coat.

There are many of you who think the first time the mercury dips below 60 degrees, it is time to dig the Uggs and fleece jacket out from the back of the closet. You would be wrong. But if the high is in the 40s, you are permitted to wear a real winter coat. You still are not allowed to wear a matching hat and gloves unless you have to be outside for more than 30 consecutive minutes. Uggs are never allowed.

Go ice skating.

It's pretty damn depressing to go ice skating at Discovery Green or even the Galleria when it is 70 degrees outside. But if the rink downtown is still open, by all means take advantage when it gets actually chilly outside.

Sit by a fireplace.

I recommend the Red Lion or the one by the ice rink in Memorial City Mall. I'm not a fan of a roaring fire when it is 80 outside, but when it's 40, cozy away.

Express concern for your plants.

I remember one year I, out of deep concern for a frost of my plants, covered them with tarps. It didn't freeze, and the next day it got up to like 80. Having forgotten to remove the tarps, my plants wilted in the heat. But when it is really going to freeze out, by all means, cover those petunias.

Talk about "breaking out the jacket" on Twitter.

Please do NOT do this in October. It would be like someone from up north coming to Houston and being amazed they could wear shorts in December.

Build a fire.

I might not frown at someone who wanted to sit by the fire when it was 65 outside, but I would definitely do it if you built a fire in your house. It's kind of remarkable houses have fireplaces in Houston. They are about as worthless as basements. But when it is going to get down to freezing overnight, burn, baby, burn.

Complain about the cold.

Here's your one chance, Skippy, so make the most of it.

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