Sunday, December 5, 2010

Festive Snowfalls...

Sometimes there are days which seem so right that you wonder if they're real.

I had one of those days this weekend. It was Saturday. I woke up to a gently prompting puppy. Specifically, it was Rory. She has this way of licking my ear when she needs to go outside in the mornings. It's quite gentle but it's her way of saying, "Hey, mummy, I quite need to go out but you seem like you're sleeping so I'm trying not to jump on your head and say, "HEY! I NEED TO PEE."

So I got up and let Rory and Sookie outside. To my delight, I realized it had been snowing and the ground was covered with a layer of white. The pups, confused at the change in landscape, did their business then promptly came in and wanted to go back to bed. Given that it was only 6:30 a.m., I was happy to oblige.

When we got up properly at 8 a.m., the snow had continued. The puppies went out again and this time explored the snow. They came in, their noses covered in white, soaked to the skin but seeming excited.

I ran what errands I had to run that morning so I could spend the day at home. I'm glad I did because it continued to snow, non-stop all day. To my delight, the puppies seemed to love the snow as much as I did. They spent ages outside, rolling in the snow, burrowing in it and just having a great time.

They came in periodically. They warmed up by getting under their blankets. As soon as they were warm and dry, they wanted to go out again.

Naturally, this made me rather happy. You have to understand, my last dachshund, as effective as he was in the snow dance, hated snow. He looked at me as though I'd betrayed him whenever snow fell and he got wet. Thus, it was to my great delight that I discovered both Rory and Sookie seemed to genuinely enjoy the frozen white stuff.

We went for a couple of walks. Somehow, we seemed to choose the time when the snowflakes were falling heaviest and thickest. We got soaked but it didn't stop me from turning my face up to the sky any more than it stopped Rory and Sookie from exploring snowbanks and divebombing into them.

By the time we got home, we were all soaked. I put the girls coats which, by now, were wet and mucky, into the washing machine. I made myself a cup of peppermint hot chocolate.

I can say, there's no finer way to see in the first real snowfall of the season than a mug of peppermint hot chocolate.

Unless, perhaps, it involves putting up the Christmas tree while drinking peppermint hot chocolate.

This turned out to be our Saturday. I put up my Christmas tree, decorated the house and drank peppermint hot chocolate while listing to the very festive sounds of the Tran-Siberian Orchestra. The puppies, meanwhile, watched. They were a little alarmed at the tree. They're not happy that I hung bells on the lower level of branches to deter them. They don't understand why a large, fake Christmas tree is adorning our living room.

I'd much rather have had a real one. I'm sure they would too. However, it's hard to manage a real tree when you're a singleton. Also, as much as I like the smell, the dropping needles are a bit of a pain. Also, I hate having to put the tree out to be recycled at the end of the season. It's just plain sad.

So I put up my 6 ft, pre-lit tree every year. I make up for the sparse areas by decorating those areas more heavily. I have a lot of decorations. I have so many that next year, I'm hoping to be able to get a second tree for my family room.

Still, real or fake, there's something wonderfully festive about getting ready for the holidays, especially while the snow is falling.

By Saturday evening while the snow was still falling, we had a very festive house. We celebrated by watching "Elf," wrapping gifts and being happy that I'm doing well on my Christmas shopping.

That's the best way to celebrate in my opinion. I usually spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my parents so it's nice to be able to squeeze in the festive moments at home while I can.

It's especially nice when the snow is falling gently but firmly outside and it really feels like Christmas. I'm a sucker for tradition and when the snow comes down during the Christmas season, it makes me feel exponentially more festive. I don't need an excuse for loving snow but this snowfall was perfect. It fell on everything but the roads and sidewalks. It was the type of snow that makes everything looks like a Christmas card.

Sunday was less snowy but we had a few flurries. Each time, the pups ran out as if to embrace it. During one of our snowy walks, I realized I might have been slighly crazy to be out and about it such a heavy snowfall but given that the pups were with me, turning their faces upwards, I didn't feel quite so alone.

Sometimes, that's just a lovely feeling. Whether the company is human or canine, to celebrate something as wonderful as snow with another creature is just the most rewarding feeling in the world. It's nice to see the puppies outside, embracing the twirling, swirling snowflakes and then have them come in to be cuddled with a blanket and to watch out the window with me.

Even if I'm a little crazy to love snow the way I least I have company!

Happy Monday!

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