Every year, my husband and I hold our Christmas rituals dear. Decking the living room with lit garlands, decking the porch as well, setting out the creche that I grew up with, playing Christmas songs, editing the next Christmas romance, watching Christmas movies, turning on the Christmas tree.1
The one ritual we’re missing
It hasn’t snowed appreciably here in northwest Missouri, and this means we haven’t celebrated one of our yearly rituals. For 35 years (give or take a few), I have celebrated the first snow. There has been no snow this year, and no snow in the forseeable forecast.
Whether alone or with friends, I have performed the ritual of First Snow:
- Wait till at least one inch of fresh snow has fallen and it’s night out
- Gather a bowl full of snow (or, alternatively, sit out in the snow)2
- Grab a cup of preferred beverage3
- Drink toasts to various things as your imagination grabs you4
- Pass the cup around (pre-COVID)5
- Always begin and end with “To the Snow”
- When done, dump the last bit of the cup into the snow
First Snow, by its climatological nature, is impromptu. Generally, there’s not more than a few hours of warning. This has meant that anywhere from one (myself) to eight (friends) have met up for it.
But, as far as I know, it’s not happening this year according to the weather forecast. I guess I will have to enjoy my green Christmas
- The Christmas tree hides in the parlor. We literally just turn the lights on in the Christmas season. During the worst of COVID, we turned the lights back on all summer.
- When I was younger, I sat out in the snow. Not anymore.
- This beverage has ranged from blackberry brandy drunk out of a mug in a city park to hot chocolate with brandy on my balcony to plain hot chocolate in my living room.
- The later in the round of toasts it is, the stranger and funnier the toasts grow. Especially if the contents of the cup are high-proof. For examples of toasts, click here.
- Under COVID, it’s just me and my husband.