Let It Snow!

Let It Snow!

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Book of Christmas Virtues

Let It Snow!

“Wasn’t tonight’s church service wonderful, Beth?”

“Hmm? I’m sorry. What did you say, dear?”

Roe glanced at his wife. “I asked what you thought of the Christmas Eve program.”

“Nice. It was . . . nice.” Beth looked over her shoulder. All three kids slumped against each other in the backseat, sound asleep.

“But?”

Beth didn’t answer. She turned to stare out the windshield. A steady stream of traffic slinked like a glowworm, inching its way along the interstate at the foothills of Colorado’s Front Range.

“Beth? What’s wrong?”

“Wrong? Oh, I’m not sure that anything in particular is wrong, but it’s not exactly right, either.” She sighed. “Or maybe it’s just that everything is so . . . different.”

“Well, this isn’t Minnesota,” Roe chuckled.

“No, it’s not, and that’s the problem. I guess I’m homesick. Christmas in Minnesota was . . .” Beth’s voice trailed off, and her mind followed.

Christmas—in Minnesota.

Where stars glittered over a frozen wonderland. How well she knew those winter scenes with steepled churches, fence posts, fields and barns. All covered with icy snow, wonderful for sledding and old-fashioned sleigh rides and building igloos and forts and massive snow sculptures and . . .

Christmas—at church.

Where friends whispered seasonal greetings. Where aunts, uncles and giggling young cousins crowded into pews. Where grandparents still sang the old carols in Norwegian.

Christmas—at home.

Where getting a tree meant a trip to the woods on the family farm and a lively debate over the merits of each person’s chosen favorite. Where Grandpa’s axe always made the first cut and the kids dragged the tree to the car by its trunk. Where sticky sap glued their mittens to the bark.

To her, Christmas was Minnesota. Her childhood was gift-wrapped in those warm memories of tradition, and she had planned on more of the same for her own kids. Until this move changed everything.

Instead, here they were, heading back to a new house in a new neighborhood after participating in a—different— Christmas Eve service with new people in a new church.

“I’m sorry, Roe. Tonight’s program really went well. I guess I just missed our traditional sing-a-long, bell choir and candlelight vespers.”

“Different places do different things, Beth. You’ll get used to it.” Roe signaled to change lanes.

“I suppose.”

“Truthfully, I think your homesickness is nothing that a good snowfall couldn’t cure,” Roe teased as he eased the car toward the exit ramp.

“Well, I must admit, when we moved here this autumn and I got my first glimpse of those towering Rocky Mountains, I just assumed snowy winters were a given.” Beth looked at the dark peaks silhouetted against the clear night sky and shivered. “But all this cold weather and not a flake in sight!”

“Only in the upper elevations.” Roe pointed to Long’s Peak, favored hiking destination of the locals. “There’s the nearest snow and plenty of it.”

“A lot of good that does!”

“It’s probably only a hour’s drive to the trailhead. What do you say we head up there tomorrow with the kids and spend Christmas afternoon in the mountains?”

Beth grimaced. Spending part of Christmas Day driving to find snow didn’t fit her mood, and it certainly didn’t fill the mold of traditional holiday activities.

“It’s not the same as shoveling sidewalks or building a snowman in the yard or making an arsenal.” She paused. “Remember the snowball fights we used to have?”

Roe and Beth grinned at each other.

“Yeah,” Roe said. “In fact, just today I was telling that nice Ben Johnston across the alley how much we’ll miss the neighborhood snowball challenges we hosted in Minnesota each Christmas. He got a good chuckle when I told him it was kids against adults—and the adults usually lost.”

“That’s what I want for Christmas, Roe.”

“What?”

“I want to look out the window Christmas morning and see something more than winter-brown grass. I want snow and an old-fashioned snowball fight with friends. Home means tradition. Is tradition too much to ask for?”

Slowing, Roe turned down Logan Drive.

“Oh, Beth, I’m sorry this move has been so rough on . . . Well, I’ll be!” Roe braked in the middle of the street. “Look!”

Beth gasped. Their lawn—bare and brown only hours before—was covered with several inches of snow. The grass, the walks, the porch and the bushes all sparkled under the streetlight’s glow.

“Snow, kids, snow! Wake up and look at our yard!”

Rubbing sleep from their eyes, all three kids tumbled from the car and raced to the glittery powder. Beth and Roe sat spellbound.

“I can’t believe my eyes,” said Beth. “Snow! SNOW! But . . . it’s only in OUR yard. How? And . . . why?”

“Who knows, Hon? But you certainly got your Christmas wish, or part of it, anyway.”

Roe pointed down the street. “Well, would you look at that!” Ben Johnston’s muddied pickup—loaded with snowblowers and shovels, headlights dimmed—slipped around the corner, leaving a fine trail of white.

“And tomorrow you get the rest.” He smiled at his wife. “What do you say we revive an old snowball tradition— with a brand-new neighborhood of friends!”

Carol McAdoo Rehme

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