Sunday, December 30, 2012

A White Christmas

After spending our Christmas holiday on the road several years in a row, we stayed home for Christmas this year. The kids were excited to open their presents under the Christmas tree on the morning of Christmas day. It was a cold day, grey and rainy outside. We lit the fire inside and just played games and read books.

Sometime in the afternoon the raindrops turned into snowflakes. The snowflakes kept falling, and soon our backyard was coated in snow. A white Christmas in Texas is really special. Last time it happened here was in the 1970s.

As I stared out of the window watching the dancing snowflakes, my memory wandered back to the best white Christmas I had years ago. We were still in Ohio, where winter and snow are inseparable. In that year, snow fell silently all night on Christmas Eve. When we got up early on Christmas morning, the outside world was all covered in pure thick virgin snow. The sun was up, snow encapsulated tree branches glistened under the bright winter sun and clear blue sky.

After breakfast, we decided to go out sledding. The snow was totally undisturbed, not a single footprint within our sight. The air was crisp and refreshing. It was quiet; we could only hear the snow crunches under our feet as we walked toward a slope in front of our building. 

I ran the sled a few times at the slope to compact the snow and to form a track for 3 year old Justin. Justin was thrilled to sled - every run, his crisp, sparkling laugh and Lily's cheer broke the tranquility of the Christmas morning. It was quite a lovely sight as well - he was in an orange coat, red hat, and riding on a green sled. We were immersed in the sheer joy of sledding. Then we heard a loud voice above us, from a second floor window, "What a beautiful day!"  An old lady opened her window to greet us. "Yes, it is". "This is the best Christmas card I have ever seen, the picture of your little boy sledding there J Merry Christmas!” “Oh, thanks! Merry Christmas!”

I smiled at the vivid memory of that “Christmas card” and realized it was turning dark outside. I turned on our Christmas light and went outside with my camera. The snow stopped, gusty wind turned to breeze, it was calm, and I raised my camera to capture this special white Christmas.

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