Snow. Big flakes, little flakes, wet flakes, dry flakes – lots of flakes. Winters in northeast Montana can bring a little snow or a lot of snow or an outrageous, unbelievable amount of snow. Sometimes records of snowfall amount are broken – much to the despair of many.
One of my mother’s favorite Christmas songs was “White Christmas.” Of course, since Mom loved it, I did, too – and still do.
I was born and grew up in southeastern Iowa, where the snow is always wet and heavy, and sometimes in abundance. If you are into lifting weights to build muscle, you can easily do that shoveling Iowa snow.
October of 1968 found me moving to Montana. As the weeks passed and December first arrived, I started singing “White Christmas.” I remembered my grandfather always said if it was a black Christmas – meaning an absence of snow – there were more deaths than in a winter when there was snow. I never thought to ask him why.
My dad would tell me that until there was a good, hard frost, there were more sick people. Over the years, I’ve learned that although some people think it was just an old folks’ superstition, my dad and grandfather were right in what they said. But that remains to be visited another day.
Back to winter – and snow.
I love Christmas music. But as I kept singing “White Christmas,” my husband told me he’d rather see a brown Christmas because if you pray for snow for Christmas it probably meant there would also be a “white Easter.”
Naturally, I had to ask what he meant by that. So he said a lot of Christmas snow more often than not was still covering the ground in April.
“But,” I said, “Christmas just isn’t Christmas without snow.” My thinking on that has changed with time. I’ve been through a few winters when the best place to see snow was on a Christmas card.
However, I kept singing and soon it started snowing! Yes! Snow for Christmas!
The winter of 1968-69 there was indeed snow for Christmas – and snow for New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day,and St. Patrick’s Day and – yep! – Easter. I even found a few bits of snow in the straw bales on Mother’s Day.
As I was walking to the car to go to church on Easter Sunday, my husband looked at me and said, “I told you when you pray for a white Christmas you get a white Easter.”
He has reminded me of that every year for 44 years until I asked him not to. I’m hoping he remembers to forget it in this 45th year of our marriage.
Several years ago, my then 5-year-old grandson told me snow is good. When I asked him why, he replied, “You can throw snowballs, build snow forts or a snowman, go sledding, or just go jump in a pile of it!”
There’s always a bright side.
P.S. May the peace, joy and love of the Christmas season fill your hearts and homes.