happy danny davis

It might seem strange to those of us in Europe who are just now getting their first real taste of snow this season - but apparently the first working Monday in January is widely known as the most depressing day of the year.

Now we get it, it's a bit of bewildering stage for many of us. The return of the 9 to 5 takes hold, the 'party season' has left us a little lacklustre and (in the UK at least) it's a pretty dismal state of affairs when it comes to the weather.

But don't go sinking into a slump just yet...

We're gradually re-gathering our stoke in the office for 2015. Getting to task and assembling the fractured pieces of last year's life (partially aided by the happy promise of near-future trips); and thought we'd put together a pick-me-up for the rest of you while we're at it.

Get your chin up, stare down the barrel of 2015 and say 'YES. I'M READY!'

longer days

As of the 21st of December (in the UK at least) - the evening hours of darkness are receding! This means you get more daylight hours out on the hill - and for those 9 to 5ers, a promise that it won't be pitch black outside for any time that you spend out of the office.

As much as we appreciate the hurried disappearance of the sun at around 3 o'clock in deepest winter, there's something about a lovely bit of extra Vitamin D that's good for the soul.

avoriaz dump

Ok, so there might not be quite as much snow now in Europe as this time last year - but at least the snow pack isn't in such a mess. We're coming into 2015 with a fresh start.

empty piste

Schools are well and truly back in! So if you can sneak in a weekend away after the Christmas/New Year rush you're in with damn good chance of getting quiet slopes.

Which, we suspect, is just what the doctor ordered.

months calendar

Five months or so in the reserves if all goes well from here on in. Another example of where the December focussed commercial winter can easily throw you off-kilter.

While many people will now be starting to think about summer holidays, we've got a good half a year (or thereabouts) of potential shred left, and that's before you account for the Southern hemisphere and high-altitude summer camps.

parks bigger

The further into the season you get - the more snow there is to play with. Or that's the theory at least...

With good stockpiling techniques and a growing layer - the features are only going to get bigger as we head into the year, and even if you're not hitting them, the spectacles that are on their way are definitely something to look forward to.

olympics

Put the Olympic debate aside - you can't deny that last season the five rings cast a significant shadow over the early months of the year... the world at large, and snowboarding's loyal following, couldn't help but have their attention swayed.

But not this time.

With many months still at our disposal, and fewer distractions - it's optimum time to go and make the most of it. Do something a little bit spectacular and whack it on the internet - it's anyones' game for the taking.

invert shop

The benefits of the January months are two fold when it comes to new gear...

If Santa's been kind this year - we're guessing that more than a few of you will have some new gadget or gizmo to take next time you hop on board your sled - and unless you've just been to the mountains, all the promise of that is still to come.

BUT if you haven't found yourself cradling a new bit of kit just yet - there's also a whole heap of spankin' new product about to drop as it did this time last year. It's the circle of life (sort of )...

full parts

The film premier season might be well over by now, but rider's Full Parts are still dropping around the clock. So if you suffer from an incurable phobia of clips over 5 minutes long, you're in luck!

Gradually over the coming months, we'll be treated to bite-size (and micro-bitesize) clips for the internet generation, taken from some of the best films to be released this year.

burton european open

It might be a little confusing this year - but there's still a tonne of fierce competition to feast your eyes on, and if you're not that that way inclined, there's sure to be a heap of more relaxed events too.

Unless you've been hanging about on a glacier, now is the time when people get over their initial 'Yay, snow!' moment, and get round to doing some proper planning. The Christmas hols might be party season for pedestrians, but we're really only just getting started.

you're not getting any younger

You're only as old as you feel (and other such cliches) - and while we can't put a cork in the old-age clock forever, a bit of optimism goes a long way.

If you've been having an overly-contemplative downer about the passing of the ages, it's essential to remember that whining about it wont help - but snowboarding might...