I’ve always wanted a white Christmas and, upon moving to Wallowa County, expected it to be a regular thing. However, for the last 10 years, it hadn’t lived up to expectations. While there was always white stuff on the mountains, or frost, or slush, I never had a fresh snow fall for Christmas. (Until this year.)
The master plan was for the kids to be with their mother for the first week of ‘winter break’ and I’d get them the day after Christmas. My mom planned to travel up on Christmas Eve which coincided with a winter storm. I had a near-catastrophe at work to deal with, so stress level was high. With both of us fearing for her life, she did make it to Christmas Eve service at church, then followed me to my new home.
Christmas day awoke quiet and still, with fresh snow all around. My mom and I explored our stockings and relaxed. Our plan was to bake pies and bring a couple to a dinner we had been invited to. However, the kids wished to come early so we reprioritized and unpacked ‘the sleigh’ for their arrival. To relieve stress, we did a finger-food dinner with veggie & fruit trays, and some other appetizers while we opened presents.
I won’t go into to much detail on those, except to express gratitude to all those who sent them. My mom has been giving us ornaments each year, causing a slight logistical challenge. She solved that this year, with personalized storage totes for the each kid to store their own decorations. (An idea we were all thrilled with.) After the mayhem & mess was over, we settled down to watch the Grinch.
Christmas dinner was a hit, as we baked a 23-pound turkey with all the trimmings. Fortunately, this yielded plenty of leftovers to sustain us. We broke out the snow tools given us in previous years, and constructed a barricade. We then had to test it’s defensive capabilities with live snowballs. A few went astray
We finished off the weekend with games & hot cocoa, and my son built another snow wall. The next week reflected a simple routine. I would go to work (leaving chores for the kids) and visit on my lunch break. Twice I was able to come home early to share in the fun.
A cold snap came, causing us to stay in most the time. At its conclusion, though, the birds were active devouring the berries off my tree. And our snow wall withered and re-froze into a stronger curl. The kids added to their stash of Legos and books, and would spend hours quietly using both. Though they’d play video games all the time, if they could.
This year has been my favorite Christmas in many. I’m sure it wasn’t one particular thing, but the culmination of many factors, as usual. I’ll savor this memory, as I do others, and stash it away for those rainy days to come.
Merry Christmas everyone!