Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Are you ready?

All of the necessary ingredients for a good Christmas are here: candles and wreaths around the house; holiday parties; a tree decorated with white lights, baby's breath and an increasingly eclectic assortment of ornaments; fifteen-year-old outdoor lights clipped to the eavestroughs by climbing to the top of a rickety ladder borrowed from my serial talker neighbor; the Carpenters, the Muppets and Mannheim Steamroller putting their twist on old seasonal carols; my mid-winter congested-head cold; all the flyers advertising sales for last minute shoppers; even a more benevolent feeling in my interactions with coworkers and friends. Everything seems to be in place for a regular, ol' Christmas season. Everything except for one thing.


Frosty precipitation seems to be eluding us this year. The roads are clear and dry as a bone and there's not even a hint of the white stuff anywhere - even in north-facing corners and shady spots where it usually hides out from the warm spells. Although I don't wish harsh weather on those who have to be out in it, I would like a light ground covering. The farmers are hoping for some to help with the incredibly dry year (years, actually) that they've just had. Those that fight forest fires, and those that ski and ice climb, and those that sell snow shovels and snow blowers would likely join me in this sentiment. I'd like to hear the swish of snow pants and the crunch of winter boots and the rattle of plastic toboggans down the hill behind our house. I wouldn't mind opening the front door and having to squint because of the sun's reflection off the thousands of refracting flakes. I wouldn't mind pushing our snow shovel to clear two or three inches off the walk on a Saturday, first thing in the morning, finding that I'm all by myself because it's too cold and early for anyone else to be out in their front yard.

Having this dry and warm weather so unseasonably late in the year has convinced me that I could not go through a Christmas season without being a place where the snow was at least ankle deep. Snow just adds to the feeling that trips out of your house and away from your family and friends should only be done when absolutely necessary. Snow makes you want to drink hot chocolate, or maybe even a Hot Toddy. It somehow completes the season for me.

I think I'm ready for that.

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