Winter Storm Cato Is Coming, So Here Are 19 Ways to Make the Most of a Snowy Thanksgiving

Bad news, everyone: Winter Storm Cato is on the way, and it totally wants to destroy your Thanksgiving plans. That jerk. And I thought he was supposed to be known for his moral integrity. So much for that, eh?

Here’s the deal: Although it’s been weirdly warm in the Tri-State Area the past two days — I actually had to turn my heat off and open the windows yesterday — that warmth is about to go the way of all things; a cold front set to move in tonight might be wreaking havoc as early as tomorrow, with crazy snow and ice causing problems from the Northeast all the way down to Georgia.

But hey, even if the day ends up a little snowier than we might like it to be, it doesn’t have to ruin it entirely. First off, you might be able to get the jump on it if you plan ahead; Mashable has a timeline of what Cato is supposed to be doing when, so head on over there to check it out. And who says snow has to be a bad thing, anyway? From cozy indoor activities to fun-filled outdoor ones, here are 19 ways to make the most of a snowy Thanksgiving.

1. Have a snowball fight instead of a turkey shoot.

No turkeys were harmed in the creation of this epic now battle.

2. Cozy up with the seasonally appropriate warm beverage of your choice.

May we offer a few suggestions?

3. Make a snow turkey.

In my head, I have this amazing picture of a whole bunch of shovels jammed handle first into the snow turkey’s rear to make its plumage. I have no idea whether or not this would actually work, but the mental image is glorious.

4. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV and be happy you’re not one of the poor saps who have been sitting outside for hours watching it in person.

Speaking from experience, it’s almost impossible to see what’s going on in most New York parades if you’re watching from the curb. Plus, if you don’t watch it from your TV, you’ll also miss seeing Al Roker’s fabulous hat-wearing skills in action.

Speaking of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…

5. Catch up on all of the previous years’ parades you might have missed.

They’re on YouTube. In their entirety. Here’s last year's:

Jay Marr on YouTube

6. Go sledding.

Because why the heck not?

7. If you have to travel, drive carefully.

I mean it, you guys. The roads are terrifying enough on Thanksgiving without all the snow and the ice. Exercise your defensive driving skills — it’ll be worth it.

8. Make a snow-inspired centerpiece for your table.

Sure, Thanksgiving may typically follow the classic autumnal color scheme of red, orange, brown, yellow, and gold — but that doesn’t mean it has to. Think white, silver, and shades of blue, with frosted branches and maybe some bright red cranberries for a pop of color. Just don’t use actual snow; it’ll get messy. Head here for some inspiration.

9. Be thankful for the fact that you’ve got better climate control than the pilgrims did.

Even if your radiator breaks down all the time, at least you’ve got one, right?

10. Make some maple syrup taffy.

It’s the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert spread. Or try a few other cold weather science experiments while you’re at it.

ilybbert on YouTube

12. Break out the ugly holiday sweaters.

It’s never too early for some ugly holiday sweater action. Plus, it’ll keep you nice and toasty.

13. If you celebrate Christmas, start decorating your tree.

We always used to use the long Thanksgiving weekend to decorate our tree when I was kid. I think it started mostly as a practical thing — we all had super busy schedules, but we could all pretty much guarantee we'd be around during Turkey Day weekend. It eventually became a Thanksgiving tradition, though — the way we ushered in the winter holiday season. Cue the nostalgia.

14. Go for a walk.

Once the storm stops, bundle up and go for a stroll. There’s nothing quite like the silence of fresh-fallen snow to inspire reflection and meditation.

15. Dig out a neighbor’s driveway for them.

Thanksgiving is kind of the gateway to the rest of the winter holidays, all of which are about giving and spreading cheer. Why not get a head start on it?

16. Make a snow-themed Thanksgiving playlist to listen to while your turkey cooks.

If Spotify’s Time for Turkey playlists don’t do it for you, make your own. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has always struck me as mildly creepy, but Idina Menzel and Michael Buble’s version is so adorable, I might be willing to give it a pass this year:

Idina Menzel on YouTube

17. Watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

It’s on right after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. My mom watches it every year — somehow, it’s just not Thanksgiving without it.

18. Decorate with some paper snowflakes.

They're pretty, they're relevant, and they'll help you keep any kids you may have hanging around occupied.

But if you really can’t deal with the snow…

19. Go somewhere warm.

I hear New Zealand is quite nice this time of year.

Images: Giphy (4); Gifsec