Nothing like a nice snowfall to add a Currier and Ives quality to the Christmas season.
The pristine whiteness of new fallen snow is almost enough to make the bitter cold bearable, especially while sitting in front of the fireplace, sipping hot cocoa, reading a compelling novel and occasionally glancing at the snowflakes fluttering to earth, turning the brown hues of winter into a winter wonderland.
Friday morning, Dec. 8, I was up early to take my daily 30-minute walk. I always check my smartphone as I walk out of the driveway—in case it indicates the temperature is too cold to justify a brisk walk, though, truth be told, the hardest step is always the one that puts my feet on the floor.
The weather report indicated 31 degrees and snow. Had to be a mistake, I thought. I don’t see any snow. Then the first small flakes began to sift down, barely visible against the glow of street lights. Cool, I thought, a few little flurries.
It snowed all day and well into the night, about four inches, if the accumulation on the hood of my truck is an accurate indication. By mid-morning, we had a dusting, as a thin coat of flour sprinkled onto a pound cake leaves ample evidence of the amber hue underneath. By noon the ground was covered, the bare limbs of trees beginning to sag a bit form the weight of the wet, fluffy snow, the evergreens bowing with the icy burden. And still it snowed. By nightfall, we had several inches, though the roads were clear enough to get to a local theater for a live Christmas show. When the final curtain fell, we exited to more snow.
At home, the evergreen shrubs we had festooned with lights emitted a muted yellow glimmer through the gossamer veil. Down the street, two small trees decorated with colored lights, flashed blue, red and green against the backdrop of pure white.
When the sun finally poked through Saturday afternoon, the peaks of the mountains to the east glittered against the cobalt blue sky. It was a beautiful snowfall, apparently a safe one, too, or as safe as any precipitation can be with hurried drivers and wet pavement.
It was cold. We were reminded that winter, though still a few days away by the calendar, had arrive full force as we left yet another Christmas concert Saturday evening and felt the icy blast of winter wind on the backs of our necks as we made our way to the car. And it started to snow again.
It was a Christmas card kind of snow, pretty but melted away before it got slushy and dirty. And it made people joyful. The cold lingered well into Sunday, and we bundled up for church and celebrated the second Sunday of advent, remembering why joy is an appropriate emotion.