The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? J. B. Priestley
I never really dream of a white Christmas. Unless you have no where to go and there is no way the weather will ruin your plans, snow on Christmas Day is never a good thing. I remember the Christmas my husband and I put the kids in the car and drove home, away from dinner with my family, because we had to get home ahead of a raging snow storm. We almost didn’t make it and there were some harrowing moments. To add insult to injury, there was no Christmas dinner when we finally got home.
And, there was the year, when I was so young I don’t even remember it, that my father put us all in the car on Christmas morning to drive from New Jersey to Long Island, NY, in what my Mom remembers as a “blizzard.” I may have been blissfully unaware, but she still shudders remembering that ride. Why he was so bent on making that trip in bad weather, which was completely out of character for him, she has no idea. But, what he said went, so we did.
No, snowfall should be beneficent and come when we can appreciate it. And that doesn’t mean coming too early and staying too long. Last October, we experienced a record-breaking snowstorm which kept our children out of school for three days and thousands of other people in the dark for weeks. Worse than an inconvenience, it was a terrifying storm which took out wires and tree limbs. I hope to never see its likes again.
The kind of snowfall I’m looking forward to comes in January or February, and, if you are very lucky, on a Sunday night into Monday morning. You can never be exactly sure until it hits, so when school and work are canceled for the day it’s a lovely surprise. The new plan for the day includes shoveling, watching movies, drinking hot chocolate and making brownies. It’s active hibernation and we love it.
A beneficent snowstorm interrupts the norm and makes January shimmer. It’s a legal day of hooky, with no guilt attached. It brings peace to the nest and makes me stop and take notice of how lucky I am to be here. I never know when, or if, it will hit, so I have a few tips for planning ahead:
1. Have “provisions” at the ready. My kids love brownies, chocolate chip cookies, hot chocolate and tiny marshmallows. You can’t run out to the store once you’re snowbound, so stock up on whatever you need to enjoy your unexpected snow day.
2. Make your nest snuggle-ready. Make sure you have warm throws, books to read, movies to watch, games to play, cards, candles and logs for the fireplace.
3. Check out The Snow Day Calculator. If you’re not into anticipation and want to predict your snow days, have I have a fun website for you! The Snow Day Calculator, was developed by a New Jersey sixth grader five years ago. It uses a secret formula to predict the possibility of a snow day for your zip code. Give it a try when the next storm approaches. I’m sure the Snow Day Calculator will be in constant use by my kids this winter.
So far this winter, we’ve only had a small flurry to remind us of the beauty of snowfall. Are you ready for your next snowstorm? What do you do when the unexpected happens, and you find yourself enjoying a snow day in your nest?
Survival > Existence,
Image courtesy of Louise Leclerc