December Review: Snow, Warmth, Magic
My final review blog of the year…
Early December, and the first snowfall of the winter came. There’s nothing more simultaneously peaceful and thrilling than opening the curtains to a blanket of unexpected snow. The startling whiteness! The stillness, the sparkle, the way it turns-upside-down all your plans for the day. Nothing is the same, the snow is here.
It is impossible to be three years old and not want to rush outside immediately. We didn’t get much snow last year, so Piglet has no snow memories. Imagine discovering snow for the first time! Shockingly cold, ice but soft, solid then wet, glittering white then melting to nothing on your glove. Big goose-feathers floating to the ground to join the mass of whiteness. Auntie Ruth gave Piglet a sledge for Christmas last year which had never made it out of the garage. The anticipation was huge. Almost a whole year of waiting for snow so he could ride his ‘sleigh’.
Getting dressed into all the layers – base layer, warm clothes, puddle suit, wellies, hat – took forever. Then the baby needed wrapped up. Then me, then Ross, and we were out! Is there any better feeling than making the first prints in fresh snow?! Stamping, kicking, wellies disappearing. We found other tracks to follow – bird, squirrel, dog, human. And the sledge! A sledge for being pulled along in, for throwing yourself out of, for making great winding trips down the hill from the paddock. Then Ross and Piglet made a huge, portly snowman with waving stick arms.
At bedtime that night, Piglet said it had been a special day because it snowed and we were all together.
The cold weather coincided, rather unfortunately, with our extended spell of having no heating. It got down to -10 degrees Celsius at night. We had 25 days of no heating (except plug-in radiators that cost us hundreds of pounds to run and only took the edge of the chill). All our spare energy got used on keeping everyone warm, on moving radiators, closing doors, bundling up. It was miserable and worrying. I have new awareness of how rough it is to not be able to heat your home.
December is a magical month if you are three (and if you are 35). The advent candle, the advent calendar, choosing an enormous Christmas tree and tying it to the roof of the car, lights, baubles, wrapping presents, meeting Santa, the solstice, carols, Christmas songs. A wonderful, month-long festival of light and joy and, somehow, you sneak past the shortest day. When you come out the other side, the days are getting longer and the earth is shifting on her beautiful axis toward spring.
December has not been without stress and worry, and as always I’ve been missing those not with us, but the magic of kids and winter and Christmas has seen us through.
Today, the last day of the year, I am ready to take down the decorations and make a fresh start, like a new blanket of snow on the ground, ready for the footprints and tracks of a new year. I get awfully sentimental about the new year. When I look back at 2022 I just see love. It was the year that brought us our Bumblebeatrix baby. A golden year, one we’ll reminisce about, filled with love. I’ve loved writing these blog posts each month and I think I might continue to do so next year.
Happy New Year, my loves!