I normally reserve the observance of Christmas for December alone. When I was a child, we always put the Christmas tree up on my birthday (December 2nd) and that marked the official start of the holiday season for me. I have warm memories of decorating the tree, my mom in the kitchen making Christmas cookies and Christmas specials on TV with those Kraft commercials in between advertising all sorts of yummy Christmas recipes (remember those?).
However, for some reason this year, I have been in the Christmas mood since the beginning of November. It would be hard to explain why. The temperatures here have been up and down, but mostly up, and it’s not like being in North America–every store isn’t decked out for Christmas–although the newly-opened Sam’s was playing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” yesterday when I finally finished up the Christmas decoration shopping. (In our new apartment our tiny Christmas tree looked too–well–tiny. So we bought a bigger one and didn’t have enough decorations to deck it out.)
It may or may not be a white Christmas here. Most years there isn’t a lot of snow, but we heard that last year, when we were back in Canada, it snowed on Christmas morning. But I have lots and lots of snowy memories from growing up just east of Toronto, Canada. I borrowed one of them and made it a scene in After the Snow Falls:
Fat snowflakes whirled between the tall, gray buildings. Snow used to deliver warmer memories: the season’s first snowman, snowball fights in the backyard and afterwards mugs of hot chocolate, warm against cold fingers.
The year Caleb turned five, the autumn had been particularly warm. Christmas Eve arrived without even a hint of snowfall, and the weatherman held out no hope. Toward midnight, Celia wrapped presents and stuffed stockings while Jeff puzzled over the instructions for Caleb’s first two-wheeler. Snow began to fall. It fell all night, laying a thick blanket over the world. Like giddy children, they woke Caleb early Christmas morning, threw open the curtains in his room, and unveiled what Mother Nature had done while he slept. As though they’d placed an order especially for him.
So in honor of my Christmasy mood, my upcoming birthday, the imminent print release of After the Snow Falls and generally just because, I’d like to hear your favorite snowy memory. Please post in the comments below.