We never know when the first snowfall will come. Some years it has waited until right before Christmas, which left us hanging lights and decorations, shopping and baking all in warm, damp weather, which feels wrong. Sometimes it arrives before Halloween, which is a bummer, because then we are kind of over snow by the time the holidays arrive. This year, it fell splendidly in between both, and we embrace the transition into wintertime.
We're a month away from Christmas, and with this first snowfall, I feel ready to start slowly wading into the holidays. We've played some music, started using our Christmas dishes, and hung our outdoor lights. I admit, I have done a lot of my Christmas shopping, but that stems more from an interest in budget-conscious spending spread across two months than it does and early jump on festivities.
Before we open the Christmas chest and start decorating, crafting and baking in earnest, I'm happy to start transitioning our lifestyle from fall to winter. This means the rain gear goes downstairs, the snow pants come up, and mitts are drying on the warmer over the vent. It means wearing slippers and warm socks, because the floors are cold, and lighting candles as ambient lighting in the evenings. Walking home from school at just about 4:00 yesterday, Abby and I noted that the sun was setting. Darker days, colder winds, cozy homes (for us, lucky folk that we are).
I am reminded of lessons learned in years past not to go too big this time of year. Everything in our natural surroundings and in our own biorhythms tell us to slow down. We will attend a few parties, and enjoy a few holiday activities, because those are important ways to connect with those we love. For the most part, though, we will honour this pull to stay home, hibernate, eat well, and snuggle up together. I look forward to nothing as much as a night drinking hot chocolate, watching a Christmas movie, and wrapping gifts alongside my family members who come to visit.
In the meantime, we'll be making snow angels, because the novelty hasn't worn off and there are enthusiastic, excited little girls in this house ready to go explore their new winter wonderland!
Shameless plug: Check out this piece I wrote for ParentsCanada magazine about using mindfulness techniques to help quell temper tantrums.