As one who has gone on record in the past saying there is no time or place for singing Christmas carols except the Christmas season, you’ll forgive me for the following: “The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. And since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”
That, in a nutshell, describes our 2010 family Christmas.
We were among the lucky who got to spend four days up at Mount Washington over the holidays.
I know it was all over the news of how it was such a nightmare up there with metres and metres of snow burying cars and ruining people’s holidays, but I consider ourselves lucky because we had one of the best Christmases ever.
Sure, there was a little bit of stress as we headed up the mountain and the driving rain at sea level began to turn to snow.
Yes, my little two-wheel drive truck (with snow tires) got stuck once when a big, bad four-by-four came to a halt, spinning its tires.
And, yes, we had to shovel snow every day (man, did we have to shovel snow) to maintain access from our chalet to the village roads.
But after becoming unstuck (no thanks to the driver of the four-by-four who simply took off after we helped him), we reached the parking lot, the vehicles were safe and as the Christmas carol said, we had no place to go.
We had plenty of food, plenty of liquid refreshments, a warm fire, a Christmas tree, the Christmas tunes and, most importantly, family. And celebrating our grandson Nathan’s first Christmas made it even more special.
It was more than just a white Christmas, it was an actual winter wonderland – the scene on the Christmas card that everyone looks at and wishes they could experience.
Sure, it pretty much snowed the entire time, but there were a few breaks in the weather.
Christmas Eve was clear and cold, making for a fun time tubing down the icy slopes.
Christmas Day night also provided some good times as we took the sleighs down some nearby hills.
As for skiing and snowboarding, the weather was far from ideal with strong winds driving the snow and making for poor visibility. In that case, yes, there might be such as thing as too much snow; even on a ski hill.
But for me, aside from the family time, the best part was trekking through the village at night.
As one finds shapes in the clouds, we discovered them in the snow-covered trees. From monsters and parrots to dinosaurs, old men and whales, we all took pleasure pointing out the snowy figures to one another.
Add to that dazzling decorations on chalets nearly buried snow and it was indeed magical.
One particular view I won’t forget was an expanse of undisturbed snow and in the distance an A-framed chalet shining bright with lights.
It reminded me of a church, and gave me a true shot of Christmas spirit.
Calls of merry Christmas echoed through the village as we passed people, and Santa Claus and his carollers entertained us with their rendition of Frosty the Snowman.
We witnessed a slight drop in Christmas spirit on our final day as the people dug out their vehicles, parking problems magnified and some tempers began to flare. But there were enough people still with good cheer. Complaints about snowplow crews’ efforts to clear parking lots and roads were unfair. No one was prepared for the amount of snow that fell.
All that was visible of my truck was about two inches of antenna, but with my son, stepson and son-in-law, we soon made short work of digging out our two vehicles.
It was a Christmas I don’t think any of us will ever forget.
My stepson said it best when he mentioned it was his first Christmas that he had never opened a present, yet it was his best one ever.