I live at the top of the Rocky Mountains, and enjoy every season. (Well, I don’t enjoy the typical May, “mud month,” much.) The other eleven are palatable at least, and some are even beyond glorious. But I am not Yeti, Frosty, or even the Abominable Snowman. I get COLD.
Most parts can be covered with wool, down, snazzy techno fabrics, or (brace yourselves) fur, and stay warm. But hands and feet freeze, despite enough circulation-enhancing treadmill miles to walk to the West coast. I have been driven off the cross-country-ski course more often than I care to admit because my extremities were numb, and visions of frostbite danced in my head. (Cut me some slack—Christmas was yesterday.)
Enter Grabbers and Little Hotties. They work. Period. Stick a Little Hottie in the tip of your mitten, and your fingers toast for hours. Better yet, smack the adhesive side of a Grabber on top of your socks at the toes, and your feet believe they’re on the beach for at least five hours as you schuss (or tumble gracelessly) along.
Since I do storyline development while cross-country skiing, I might cite products named Toasties and Little Snuggies on the first novel’s acknowledgment page. But Grabbers and Little Hotties sound suited to something written in a wildly inappropriate genre, so sadly, only blog readers get the tip. Happy snow days to you and yours!
I’ll admit it: I am a Christmas freak.
When I was a kid, it was (of course) primarily about presents. I enjoyed carols and hymns at church, and was one of few angels in the choir loft not sleeping through our big entrance at pageant’s end. As a twenty-something, Christmas was a break in a hectic professional life, a time to enjoy family and assess faith.
As a mother of young children, the holiday was again, to my regret, about presents. I vividly remember the last time I exited Toys ‘R Us, confident I’d never return. I cherish this victory lap as one of the happiest moments in a really extraordinary life. No lie.
When the kids became teenagers, Christmas was calmer. We’d head to our ranch perched on the Rockies’ snowy top. Drink cider and hot cocoa, build fires, ski and snowshoe, watch elk, play Cranium on Christmas Eve, and just generally chill. We reconnected in near-holy solitude cherished by my hermit personhood. These are my fondest Christmas memories. Our holiday time there wove unbreakable threads that connect us wherever life takes us.
But this year, I’ve worried myself. I am not Scrooge, but have struggled to build momentum toward this most amazing time. It’s not depression or fiscal, but a disconnect. Maybe it’s vitriol left from the election. Or persistent bad news — from economic to war in the Middle East. Maybe I’m distracted by fabulous activity on my manuscripts, moving at an unprecedented pace with publishers you’d recognize.
Today, I watched the season’s first snowstorm. Did more holiday baking. Addressed Christmas cards. Played carols. Prepared packages to ship to family. Focused on the Christ child. Was thankful for God’s grace.
Bit by bit, I’m inching my way to Christmas cheer. The snow came just in time.