Saturday, November 19, 2011

Snow, and Holiday Traditions

All week, the weather forecast has been saying "Snow tomorrow!" and the next day, people will wake up, excited for snow.  And all week, there has been no snow.  The weather forecast changes from "Snow today!" to "Snow tomorrow!".  It's rather ridiculous.

But we're all waiting for snow.  It hasn't happened yet.  Generally of course, it doesn't snow before Thanksgiving here.  But last year it did... then again, that was bizzare and never-before-heard of.  At least, not here.  In fact, there have been years where all we've gotten is a centimeter or two-- a dusting, at best.  Or, no snow at all.  It's sad really.  The only time I ever remember there having been snow that was higher than three inches, was in fifth grade, when we had a freak, two-week long snowstorm.  We had snow higher than a foot.


Snow is something that I've always loved, especially the first few hours of it.  Standing out the window, staring at it coming down, blanketing the city in silence, turning gray and brown to white-- startlingly white.  

And of course, I love snow because snow means the holiday season.  Red and green, white and sparkly, advent calenders and the scent of pine.  Snow globes and ornaments, hot chocolate and cookies.  They all mean the holiday season.  I remember one year when we went on our annual downtown trip with our friends-- we go every year (except last year, because scheduling didn't quite work, due to my sister being in college). This one year I'm thinking of-- it could have been fifth grade.  In fact, I think it was.  Anyways, we went downtown, and as we were walking around, it started to snow.  It was just so magical and fantastic.  

Years and years ago-- I was maybe four, my grandmother on my father's side made me and my sister an advent calender.  And every year since then, we hang it by the door, and as soon as we both get home, we rush to the calender and flip over the newest number (we alternate-- one of us does the odd numbers, the other even, and we do Christmas day together).  This year, and last year, for the first eighteen days of Christmas, I'll be doing it alone.  I'll be getting home, and flipping over the little number, all by myself.  But then, as soon as she gets home, I'm going to let her do it,  and let her do it for the rest of the days-- until Christmas, of course.

I love my family's Christmas traditions.  We go down to our friend's cabin and cut down our Christmas tree at a tree farm near the cabin, the weekend after Thanksgiving-- so I'll be gone next weekend.  We go to a nursery near my school, with our friends (the same ones we go downtown with), and drink cider and they get their Christmas tree, and we (the kids) get ornaments-- though every year their selection seems to get less and less.  Oh, and we see the reindeer they have as well.  Last year, they also had a camel and a donkey, which was very cool.  We go downtown, and eat Thai food, and see these really cool gingerbread houses, and go on a carriage ride and feed the horse carrots.  On Christmas Eve, we go to 5:00 mass, and then come home and have dinner with a few of my aunts and uncles and my grandmother, and we have these delicious chocolate lava cakes that my mom and sister always make, and then we all open one or two presents marked "Christmas Eve", and my sister and I leave out a chocolate lava cake for Santa and milk, with our Christmas lists and some carrots for the reindeer-- those reindeer don't get enough appreciation.  And Christmas morning I have to wait until 8:30 to wake everyone up (this is my sister's rule, though my parents probably quite appreciate it) and then we all brush our teeth and go downstairs, and open our stockings, then presents from Santa, and finally presents from our parents.  Then we hang around the house for several hours, before jumping in the car and going to a relative's house.  And of course, throughout it all, we are playing our extensive collection of holiday music.  


The holiday season makes me happy.  It's just a really happy time of year.  What's your favorite part of the holiday season?

The Dandy Lioness

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