I’m here to tell you about a very special Christmas story for a little girl…
Snow has always been a big part of my childhood. Having grown up in western New York state (upstate to anyone living in NY City), my hometown was part of the “snowbelt”. What is a snowbelt, you ask? Well, having had that part of my vocabulary all of my life, I found it hard to describe, so here is a source that describes it perfectly:
Snowbelt is a term describing of a number of regions near the Great Lakes in North America where heavy snowfall in the form of lake-effect snow is particularly common. Snowbelts are typically found downwind of the lakes, principally off the eastern and southern shores. Lake-effect snow occurs when cold air moves over warmer water, taking up moisture that later precipitates as snow when the air moves over land and cools. The lakes produce snowsqualls and persistently cloudy skies throughout the winter months, as long as air temperatures are colder than water temperatures, or until a lake freezes over.Anyway, snow was always a big part of my childhood. And Christmas always had plenty of snow. Always. As I grew older, though, it seemed that sometimes snow wasn’t around by the time Christmas came and went. To me, Christmas isn’t Christmas without the brown, dormant grass being fully covered by fresh, white, fluffy snow.
(Thank you, Wikipedia.)
On this particular year, I was eight, maybe ten, years old (I really only remember that I was little). Throughout the month of December, I was eagerly waiting for snow, watching the sky and being uncharacteristically tuned in to the weatherman. Sadly, the snowbelt, and the weather forecasters, were disobliging. They did not forecast any snow to hit before or on Christmas. I was broken-hearted but decided to start my own campaign to have snow on that special morning. I wrote a letter to Santa, begging him to send snow before he traveled here on Christmas eve. I spent evenings staring at my mom’s manger scene on our mantle, touching the ceramic figure of the baby Jesus and wishing for snow… please, please send me snow for Christmas. I’d go to bed and wake up in the mornings, eagerly peering out my window to see if the shimmery flakes had fallen.
Each morning I was disappointed.
Christmas Eve came. Not a single flake of snow had fallen. I was beside myself in misery and made one desperate last plea to the baby Jesus in the manger scene (it was far too late to send another letter to Santa, as this time period is in the ancient years predating email). Staring at the scene for what I felt was an extraordinarily long time (for a little girl) I begged and wished and pleaded (inside my head) with all of my might. Barely even hopeful anymore, I headed dejectedly to bed so that Santa could come…
Now, growing up, I lived in a drafty, two-story farm house. It was the best house to grow up in and I miss it to this very day, at 41 years old. Back then, on Christmas mornings, my sisters and I were not allowed to go downstairs until we woke our parents up, which we’d typically do by collectively jumping on their bed, excitedly. Then, my father would go downstairs (an enclosed stairwell, with a door at the bottom), and “check the house” to make sure that Santa and his reindeer or any stray elves were well and truly gone, and that things were in their appropriate place. (One year, I remember hearing boxes being dragged across the kitchen floor into the living room, but I never connected the dots that my dad was just placing gifts under the tree that morning, probably to circumvent any middle-of-the-night snooping.)
On this year, I woke up with my sisters and went bouncing into my parents’ room, excited that Christmas morning was finally here! My father got up and went downstairs to do the usual “search” for Santa, while we girls used the bathroom and anxiously awaited at the top of the stairs. We heard some voices and I was suddenly feeling butterflies in my stomach. Was Santa still here?! My father opened the door and laughingly shouted up that Santa had left a few extra gifts this year and to come downstairs and see. Two of my sisters and I ran down the steps and walked into our living room, where the tree was overflowing with presents. Looking down the room, next to the couch, was another one of my sisters, with her boyfriend and two friends. These were Santa’s extra “gifts” to us. Confused, I questioned why they were there and they laughed and said, “look outside.”
I looked outside.
Overnight, Santa had brought with him a huge lake effect blizzard, blanketing everything in a deep layer of snow (and forcing my sister and her friends to quickly detour from their night out to the safety of the nearest house, trapping them all overnight in our living room).
It was the best Christmas in my young life: my fervent snow wishes had been answered!
And the moral of this story? "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it... and then some!"
Okay, if you've enjoyed your stop here and my story, I invite you to please enjoy more lovely stories over here.