December 18: White Christmas
Growing up in Houston, Texas, meant mild but dreary winters, and hot humid summers. It wasn’t until I was in fifth grade that I saw snow for the first time. Our family typically took a mid-summer vacation to Colorado, but this particular year, we went in June in the hopes of experiencing a late season snow. And we did.
We woke up one morning to fat flakes falling from the sky and the ground covered with snowy goodness. It lasted long enough for us to make a few snowballs before the sun melted it away. It was magical.
The next year my dad told us we were moving to Connecticut, and my first thought was, “I can finally have a white Christmas!” My second thought was I would miss my friends.
White Christmases are hard to come by in these parts; I can probably count on one hand the number I have witnessed, but that does not diminish my awe and excitement at the first snow of the season. While I understand the scientific reasoning behind this phenomenon … water freezing at 32 degrees which turns clear raindrops to fluffy snow … it does not negate the magic.
I love to watch snow fall at night – quietly passing across the light of the street lamps. Thousands of scurrying flakes silently swirl through the air, performing a scene from the Nutcracker as they make their way to the ground.
When I wake up the next morning, I marvel at the beautiful landscape: the dull grays and browns have transformed into a smooth pristine white. Shabby bushes become mini Christmas trees, and everyday objects – like mailboxes and fire hydrants – are reminiscent of a Victorian postcard.
The serenity of snow is unmistakable. There is no thunder, no lightning, no pit-a-pat of rain against the windows. Just soft silent flakes. Peace.
Snow brings out the child in me: the child who wonders at creation, believes in magic, and admires the baby lying in the manger – the one who makes my sins as white as snow.