I am not a fan of winter, with one exception: the first real snowstorm in December. It’s the day I write out my holiday cards and remember that sometimes we have to stop scurrying about and just be. Today I had a perfect snow day.

Of all the seasons here in New England, winter comes last, so far as I am concerned. I love spring with the pale green leaves and possibility. And autumn, with its colors and crispness. When I lived near lakes or the ocean, summer topped my list, but since living in Somerville, sans auto, and sans easy beach trips, summer comes in third. 

Winter, however, always brings up the rear, with its darkness, short days, and the snow. So much snow. Come January, I start calling snow Deathflakes. It retains that designation until a very special time toward the end of the year, the first real snowstorm in December.

I love the first real snowstorm in December.

The first snow storm of December
Our first storm in December. Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

The first real snow day of the year, a time to write cards, turn on Christmas lights, and stop scurrying

Fireplace video and bookshelf
Yes, I put a fireplace video on to celebrate my snow day vacation day. Ollie had clearly gotten into the toys. Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

Unless it’s too close to Christmas, I time doing my holiday cards to the first snow of the year, ideally sneaking off work a bit early, making a cup of hot chocolate, and writing to those dear to me and far away. In the evening, I turn on my Christmas lights, drink wine, and enjoy the stillness that comes over this area during a real storm.

I am on vacation, so I had the whole day to stop scurrying and relax. Ollie dog and I woke up a bit later than usual. I had coffee, and we hung out on the couch, as is our morning custom. I read, and put on this ten-hour fireplace video, because I missed fires in fireplaces, and while I have a fireplace, it does not work. (I’m writing this in the dark, watching it still. Yes, it’s embarrassing, and no, I’m not stopping.) 

The calm, white light of the day, and the quiet, except for the plows and neighbors shoveling, reminded me to stop trying to be productive and to just be.

All good mornings, but especially snow day mornings, start with coffee in a vintage mug. Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

Gingerbread cake and spiked eggnog for lunch, because snow day vacation

In the afternoon, I made this dark molasses gingerbread cake. My search for molasses for gingerbread cookies only resulted in blackstrap molasses, so I had to get creative. I’m making that cake again. Along with my cake, I had a glass of eggnog spiked with a bit of bourbon and called that lunch, because snow day vacation. I only wound up drinking half the eggnog, but I enjoyed it.

Have I mentioned that Ollie, too, does not care for winter, and really cannot stand snow? Getting him to go outside, wearing his coat, which he hates even more than snow and cold, proved challenging, but thankfully brief. Tomorrow will be a better day for walking him, as the sidewalks should be cleared, and he won’t have to go wading through chest deep snow just to potty.

My most wonderful time of the year: Writing out my holiday cards

Cards printed with photos from my year to send to my dear ones. Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

Dark comes early this time of year, and the light faded as I got out my cards and made my list. Each year, I make cards from items spied on my travels, walks, and experiences throughout the year. No travels this year, but plenty of walking. I put on my Christmas lights, kept the fire video going, and wrote to my dear ones. 

I texted with a couple of them after I asked them for their addresses. Normally I try to keep still when doing my cards, but in this strange year, I take connection when I get it. One friend has just had a baby. Another friend and I joked back and forth about something that’s funny to us. I addressed and stamped the envelopes. I felt connected and content.

Snow day’s end

Enjoying a December snowy evening. Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

I had a simple dinner of leftover apricot glazed chicken, rice, and green beans. A salad. A crisp white. Another piece of cake, because snow day vacation.

And now I’m back on the couch, Ollie asleep beside me, still texting with a friend, contemplating the dinner dishes. A fake fire crackles on my television screen, and candles flicker in front of my fireplace. Christmas lights. Quiet outside. Peace.

Did you have a snowy day? Were you able to find a few quiet moments?