Or, you know, whatever. There have been winter rituals/celebrations for, like, EV-ver, what with the getting cold and getting warm and the nights getting longer then shorter and stuff.
The winter rituals have ranged from human sacrifice to sleeping in an overstuffed chair with “Christmas Story” in a 24-hour loop.
Bits and bobs have accreted on the rituals like barnacles on ships. Certain foods, certain music, certain decorations, certain sentiments, certain meanings. Even certain weather, although the southern hemisphere of this here planet Earth has totally different weather from up here in snowville.
You can see where I’m going from here. It might be useful to your character or to the fabric of your work to include something about a winter ritual/festival. Now is a good time to find inspiration for that!
I found an entire book on the tradition of hiding an ornament shaped like a pickle on the Christmas tree. In case you don’t know, Woolworth’s department store imported blown-glass ornaments from Germany in the 1890’s, including a set of vegetables. One of the vegetables was a cucumber. Customers were like, “What’s Christmassy about a pickle??” And the marketing department said, “Oh, that’s an old tradition in Germany, didn’t you know?” (It isn’t.) “They hide the green pickle ornament in the green tree and the first child to find it gets a special present.” <–Big Fat Lie
But the pickle ornament (which my family, immigrants generations ago from Germany, never heard of) sparked my imagination, and I used it as a story seed for one of the several novels I’m currently laboring to finish.
Whether your character is modern or ancient or futuristic, human or animal or alien or magical, the turnings of the year might be vitally important or a remnant of racial memory, especially the turning from dead winter to the renewal of spring.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about a character who rejects the winter rituals of their culture.