December 5 is the Polar Plunge here in Denver, an excuse to jump into freezing cold water (costumes optional) to raise money for Special Olympics. We may have friendly competition between our different properties in Denver. Sadly, I will just be an enabler....strongly encouraging friends and co-workers to do it, knowing that I will be relaxing (warm and dry) with friends in Germany on the day in question.
As a child going to girl scout camp in Wisconsin (a state known for frigid water), you had the option to go "polar-bearing" in the lake before breakfast. You just had to tie a sock around your platform tent pole if you and your tent-mates were going and the counselors would wake you up.
Polar Bear Jumps are also a tradition in Milwaukee as people hop into Lake Michigan at 12 noon on New Year's Day. What a way to wake up / sober up after a long New Year's Eve! I had the opportunity on 1/1/07 when I was there, but opted for glorious sleep instead!