Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A White Christmas

By R.J. Harlick

I awoke this morning to a land of pristine white.  A deep carpet of soft powder has transformed the woods surrounding our log cabin into a winter wonderland of undulating perfection that beckoned us to come out to play. And play we did… or at least our dogs did. My husband and I enjoyed a delightful walk, kicking clouds of fluffy white into the air. Absolutely perfect snow. And it’s still snowing. Hallelujah, we’re going to have a white Christmas.

So when it came time to write my blog, I really wasn’t in the mood to write about which book I wanted for Christmas. Terry did such a thoughtful job of writing about books in her blog yesterday, I felt that I couldn’t add more. And since Christmas was foremost in my mind I decided to write once again about Christmas.

For me, Christmas can only be white. I can remember only a couple of years when it was green and drab and horror of horrors, raining. I tell you, a Christmas without snow is no Christmas at all. I feel sorry for you poor sods living in southern climes, where you have to make do with hanging Christmas ornaments on  palm trees or cacti and reindeers trying to pull Santa’s sled over a sticky lawn. You don’t get to enjoy the fun of frolicking in the snow, skating on a lake of mirror ice, hurtling down a hill on a toboggan, swishing through deep powder on skis or most fun of all, making snow angels in the fluffy white.

For almost thirty years our log cabin has been the centre of our family celebration with my sisters and their families and, in the early years, our mother and my mother-in-law trekking many miles to join in the fun. With every bed in use, even the sofa bed in the living room, our timber walls have been full to bursting with laughter, shouts of joy and non-stop conversation.  We spend a lot of time outside too, because everyone wants to enjoy the snow.

One of the reasons our cabin became the favoured Christmas venue was the guarantee of the fluffy
white stuff. While Toronto and other parts south might be snowless, we could always be assured of snow in the wilds of Quebec. Since my nieces and nephews were babies, they have been coming to the cabin for Christmas to enjoy their playtime in the snow.  There have been many snowball fights, toboggan races down the steepest hill and of course the quintessential hockey game on the frozen lake.

Afterwards, everyone with their rosy cheeks piles into the house to warm up frozen toes and fingers in front of a crackling fire with a mug of hot mulled wine or hot chocolate and watch the coloured lights light up the glass ornaments, tinsel and icicles on the Christmas tree, which I might add is always a real one, spruce or balsam, freshly cut by my husband.

Sure the snow has caused problems, like cars getting stuck or not starting, the electricity going out, once for three days, and one year a broken leg, when a toboggan rammed a tree, but hey, that’s part of the experience to be retold at later Christmases.

So regardless of whether your Christmas is white or not, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukah and generally a Happy Holiday. Take care until we meet again in the new year.


Dietrich Kalteis said...

I know what you mean, Robin. I grew up back east where we had a blanket of white every year, and it doesn't feel quite the same since my family and I moved to the West Coast. Mostly we just get rain this time of year.

Susan C Shea said...

Your wonderful description is almost enough to make me sorry I gave away my skis and ski clothes...almost. I loved snow as a kid but lost the joy when it became an adult headache, before moving to CA. The secret, as you demonstrate, is not losing the child's perspective about the glories of the white stuff! Happy holidays, Robin!

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