This week we’re talking about first day of snow/winter traditions. Let me start out with this, I LOVE SNOW! I am the sort of person that does not get along with summer but winter comes around and I am so happy. I’ve been told before that I am “backwards”. When I asked what the person meant he replied, “I see you outside more in the winter than I do in the summer.” It is true, I love winter. I always have.
As a child I remember that first snow fall and I would want desperately to go to the farm so I could take the toboggan out. We would spend hours climbing up the hill in the pasture and sledding back down it. The only rule I ever remember was that we were NOT to sled near the creek. We never did, except for once and I learned my lesson! On days when we could not go to the farm to sled we built snow forts in our yard then the neighborhood kids would come over and we would have a large snowball fight. We had the biggest yard in the neighborhood.
Now I have three children who all love winter as much as I do. Though my middle child would rather look at the snow from inside the warmth of a house he does still go out and enjoy it with us. We live in an apartment so there is no running outside to play in the yard as the snow comes down. We have to go two blocks down to the park or across town to my parents’ house (which is more often the case).
So when that first snowfall comes my kids get all excited. The day starts out with a Snowman breakfast. This breakfast is three mini powdered doughnuts arranged to look like a snowman with pretzels for the arms, chocolate chips for the eyes and buttons, and a kiss for the top hat. Then there are pancakes shaped to look like snowmen with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a bacon scarf, again chocolate chips make the eyes, mouth, and buttons. To drink I make white hot chocolate. I have yet to find a recipe that we really love for that but I will eventually.
After our snowman breakfast we head to my parents (if it is not a school day) where we shovel the walk for them and then build the first snowman of the year. This past year we built several. Wyatt did one nearly all by himself. I helped him lift the pieces together but he was so happy that he had rolled them (with a little help). While Quinlan and Jessica built mini snowmen to arrange around the large one. Since our first snow this winter was before Thanksgiving the snowmen did not last long, in fact the large one had fallen over by the end of the day as the snow melted.
The night of the first snow we snuggle up with a cup of hot chocolate to watch a movie. The hot chocolate varies from year to year. Quinlan likes instant, Wyatt likes homemade, Jessica used to go for homemade until my mom gave us a cocoa machine this past November (you use milk and the candy bar of your choice). Right now the biggest hit with them is hot strawcolate (hot chocolate with strawberry), which I made once because I was out of regular milk and now they always want it.
These events hardly ever happen on the first calendar day of winter. This past winter it was before Thanksgiving. Many years it is about the first of December or so. As you can see a lot of our first day of snow traditions has to do with snowmen. We’ve always wanted to go to one of those snowmen competitions but I honestly don’t know of any place near here that has them.
Do you go out and play in the snow or stay in and enjoy the warmth of your home?