Christmas Snow

December 22, 2011

I could talk to you about the point of view issues I’m having in my WIP, first sentences, dialogue, or even how it took me four minutes to figure out how to change the font size on Word, (yes, I know it was four minutes) but I’m in full Holiday Mode, and it’s all about the next few days at my house. Oh, don’t get me wrong, my characters are still dancing around in my head, but this week, from morning to night it’s Christmas for me. So I’m going to stay on Holiday Mode.

Let me first say, whatever holidays you celebrate this time of year, Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Over the years it seems as though Christmases Past become so intertwined that they almost blend into each other. This isn’t a bad thing to me; for the most part my Christmases have been filled with love and joy, and what more could you want from the holidays? There are, however a couple of Christmases that stand out in my mind.

The first, I was seven years old. My family had just moved from Los Angeles, where I was born, to Ohio. I had never seen snow, and all I wanted for Christmas was a white Christmas. We had a long Indian summer, and by Christmas Eve there was still no snow, but I believed in the magic of Christmas, so I knew that when I awoke on Christmas morning there would be snow. I went to sleep happily…I’m sure dreaming of sugar plums fairies and nutcracker soldiers dancing…in the snow. On Christmas morning…still no snow.

My seven-year-old heart didn’t give up. After all, Santa had brought me a brand new sled, with red metal runners and wood planks, all shiny new and ready to go, and he wouldn’t have brought me a sled if there wouldn’t be snow. I sat by the window on my little sled waiting for the snow. I ate my Christmas breakfast on the little sled. I dumped the contents of my stocking out on the little sled…while keeping an eye out the window for the snow.

At lunch time my parents tried to persuade me to sit down at the table to eat with them, but I had snow watch…so no. They looked at me with concern while they explained. “It may not snow today. You may have to wait for another day to ride your new sled.”

“It will snow.” I was confident.

And guess what? About three o’clock that afternoon, the snow began to fall. It started out pretty slowly, but within a short period of time it came down heavier.

“There’s not enough snow to sled ride, and it’s pretty slushy,” my dad told me.

“Please Daddy.” I raised my big blue eyes up with tears welling in them. (I learned this trick young, and it never failed with my dad…or Hunky Hubby, who isn’t in this story.)

“Okay.” So my mom bundled me up in my new winter coat, hat and mittens…all new not because it was Christmas, but because I was a California girl and didn’t have them before.

We walked with my sled to Dogwood Park, a block from our house. I don’t remember how well the sled went down the hill, only my dad holding my hand as we walked up the hill, sled dragging behind, rope firmly gripped in my mittened fingers, as I happily felt the magic of Christmas snow for the first time.

The second Christmas that stands out in my mind also involves the magic of Christmas snow. It was the early nineties, and the economy was bad. Hunky Hubby and I were living in the California high desert. We had three small boys, and three weeks before Christmas, Hunky Hubby was laid off, again. We were still trying to catch up from a previous lay-off. I had few gifts for my boys: three snow tubes I’d purchased for $5 each and the toys I’d received free for hosting a Discovery Toy party….it was pretty meager. My husband was so depressed. He felt inadequate…like he was a poor provider.

Every day Hunky Hubby got up in the morning to job hunt. I would pack him a lunch, he’d leave at 8 a.m., return at 5p.m. and do it all again the next day. While he was gone the boys and I decorated the house and made dozens of Christmas cookies. Okay, two hundred dozen Christmas cookies to be exact. My friend Sandy had asked if I would bake Christmas cookies for her to take to her office, she’d pay me. I didn’t want to charge her, but she insisted. Then she came up with the idea of making a flyer and selling my cookies to others who didn’t bake…it was very successful, and Sandy’s idea helped us get through the next few weeks. Thanks, Sandy!

But the kids didn’t realize how bad things were. All they knew was the house was decorated and full of Christmas smells, and Santa would be coming soon.

On Christmas Eve, Hunky Hubby blew up the snow tubes and put them under the tree. We would take the kids to the mountain just a few miles from us to sled ride in the morning.

About 6 a.m. Joey, our youngest son, woke us up screaming with delight. “It’s Christmas…it’s Christmas, and it’s snowing!” I’m pretty sure he also said something about being hungry. It’s the first thing out of his mouth in the morning since he could talk.

Now, it does snow occasionally in the high desert, very occasionally, and I hadn’t heard any predictions for Christmas snow, so I was pretty sure it was just frost outside.

“I don’t think so,” I said as Paul and I grabbed our robes and put on slippers.

But we went out to the living room with Joey, Jayson and Gerrod, looked out the window, and it really was snowing. Santa had once again brought Christmas snow. That was probably the best Christmas (at least for me) of the boys’ childhoods…and without a doubt the one that we had the least money. We played in the snow all day, coming in to warm up Christmas food and hot chocolate.

That night Hunky Hubby brought in a snowball made from Christmas snow and put it in the freezer. “Just to keep the Christmas magic as long as possible.”

A few weeks later he was hired by TRW (now Northrup Grummon), and we moved back down to the Los Angeles South Bay.

Mark Krisky from KTLA is predicting temperatures in the mid 70’s for Christmas Day, so not likely to have Christmas snow this year, but it will be magical anyway…all three of my sons are here to celebrate.

I know I’ve been long winded, and next week I promise to write about POV, or commas or something writerish,  but I had to share my most memorable…magical Christmases. I’d love to hear about yours…hope you’ll share…

Happy Holidays to all!



4 Responses to “Christmas Snow”

  1. Love this post, Tari! It made me think over the Christmases in my past, and one stands out.

    The most memorable for me was 10 years ago. I had been released from the hospital with my newborn baby girl on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day, Hubby bundled up the boys and went over to his parents’ house for presents and food. I stayed behind, nursing my baby girl. I felt like a living, breathing nativity scene all bundled up on the couch in utter silence with my precious gift.

    Thanks for the memory.


  2. What a beautiful memory Elley!! Which means it’s also time to wish your baby girl a happy birthday!! So happy birthday to your daughter, and Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

  3. Gillian Colbert Says:

    A beautiful post and so poignant. Happy holidays to you and yours.

  4. Thank you Gillian, Happy Holidays to you as well!

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