Snowy holidays: Delightful, thoughtful | Moment's Notice
Last updated 12/24/2022 at 9:32pm
Oh, 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
Like the song says, if the weather has to be frightful, at least let it snow!
There is something inherently comforting about snow.
Walking through your neighborhood or down a busy city street, the uniformity of color (or lack thereof) creates a calm. You cannot help but smile at bunches of pillowy snow creating new shapes on tree limbs, especially with evergreen needles poking through.
If your backyard was not winterized and weeded at the end of fall, the snow will cover that. The driveway with a few cracks or uneven spots suddenly appears flawless. The small patio to your apartment that may not have been power washed now looks spotless.
Snow also represents freedom!
When we were young, snow meant no school; snow meant that it was OK to play outside instead of doing chores or homework. Sledding down a street that your parents usually say if off-limits is exhilarating.
You don't have to be a kid to love taking the dog for a walk in the snow, something that now involves attempting snowball fetching and lots of tail wagging. Snowball fights or just general frolicking in the snow is, well, fun!
A pristine and untouched layer of millions and millions of snowflakes seems to erase all that is not quite right with the world, or at least mask it.
Those of us lucky enough to go into this holiday season enjoying the bounty of gifts and food, the love of family near and far, the warmth of our favorite and familiar decorations, and the snow, especially the snow, must also remember those without those things.
The list is long, unfortunately.
From devastated Ukrainians celebrating a Christmas without war just a year ago, to a neighbor who can no longer afford rent, or a teenager forced to leave home – they can experience that snow as life-threatening.
From the families who do not have enough to eat because work hours were cut or wages cannot keep up with costs, there are so many who cannot rejoice for the holidays with abandon.
All of our winter holidays celebrate a type of renewal, whether it be birth or the Nativity, the victory of light over darkness, unity of purpose, and all prioritize the honor in and obligation of giving, of sharing joy, and of caring for others.
It was one who we are celebrating this month who said, "Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these (brothers), you did not do for me."
Those with plenty carry even more of this responsibility since we are fortunate enough to be on the inside looking out at that beautiful and icy snow.
Another of my favorite Christmas carols says it well...
In our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time
But say a prayer, pray for the other ones
At Christmas time, it's hard, but when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window, and it's a world of dread and fear
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Tonite thank God it's them ... instead of you.