First, I’ll tell you mine (then you tell me yours down below). Figured I only write here once a month, and this is December, so why not do some Christmas?
My most memorable Christmas happened in 5th grade. At the end of that year, our family moved south to Florida so my Dad could work on the Apollo Space Program. I’ve lived here in Florida pretty much ever since. And I’ve had some fine Christmas moments in Florida, but the memory of that Christmas in 5th grade resurfaces every year at Christmastime.
Because that was the year I experienced my last Christmas with snow. And it wasn’t just a flurry. It came down hard, starting right after dark.
We lived in a suburb of Philadelphia. For fans of my first novel, The Unfinished Gift, the neighborhood closely resembles what I described in the book. In Philly, we could always count on it being cold at Christmas, but not that it would snow. It snowed at least a few times during the winter, but on Christmas Eve? That was pretty rare.
In fact, I can only recall that one time in my childhood…that very last year in 5th grade.
I remember my little sister on that Christmas Eve (she’s now a grandmother of seven), being the first one to see it. She screamed as she looked out the window of our living room, “It’s snowing! It’s really snowing!” We all ran to look.
Behind us, the Christmas tree stood sparkling in the corner, surrounded by tempting presents. The stockings were hung, thumb-tacked to the stairway (we didn’t have a fireplace). Sugar cookies and egg nog were set out on the coffee table for Santa. But none of that mattered now. It was snowing! My big brother opened the front door and we all ran outside, spinning around with our mouths open, trying to catch the snowflakes on our tongues.
“Kids, get in here. You’ll catch colds,” our mother called, to no avail. I looked back at her, standing there in the doorway smiling (she’s with the Lord now, these past four Christmases).
We eventually did come inside and finished our Christmas Eve traditions. But every few moments, one of us would get up and check on the snow’s progress.
It kept snowing, all night.
We awoke on Christmas Day, not to just the delightful scene of shiny presents under the tree in our living room, but to a virtual Winter Wonderland outside. A full two feet of snow had fallen, with drifts of four to five feet in some places. I’ve yet to see a Christmas card that matches the beauty that lingers in my mind, even now as I recall that scene.
And like a Christmas gift that keeps giving…the next day, the snow plows came through, piling up two equal mountains of snow on opposite sides of the street. Our street was filled with kids (picture the Leave It To Beaver era). The plows had made two perfect snow forts. All week long, it was our side against their side of the street.
I don’t remember a single Christmas gift I got that year, but I do remember the snow on Christmas Eve, and having some of the most amazing snowball fights in kid history throughout that Christmas vacation.
Dan Walsh is the award-winning and bestselling author of 9 novels, including The Unfinished Gift, Remembering Christmas and The Dance. He has won 3 Carol Awards and 2 Selah Awards. Six of his books have been Top Picks on RT Reviews. Three were finalists for Inspirational Book of the Year. Dan is a member of ACFW and Word Weavers. He lives with his wife, Cindi, in the Daytona Beach area where they love to take long walks. To connect with Dan or check out his books, go to:http://danwalshbooks.com