Snowflakes (that stay on my nose and eyelashes)

I know it’s only just turned November, but I’m already thinking about winter. Maybe it’s the sudden drop in temperature, maybe it’s the fact that I’m usually one step ahead in my mind, but I’m starting to think about what an ideal winter season might hold. Here are a few of my thoughts: Ice Skating. Since I was little, I have enjoyed everything about ice skating. The first Olympics I remember involved hearing names like Scott Hamilton, Katarina Witt and Oksana Baiul. As an aspiring ballet dancer, I appreciated the seamless, graceful movements and impressive strength. For some reason, the young people that I knew in the elementary school years would always go skating (either ice or roller) for Valentines Day. You would bring valentines for everyone, eat candy and skate in circles with friends. Nothing better. This year, I’d like to take the ice again and make some new memories.

Hot Chocolate. There is something wonderful about really well-made hot chocolate. I enjoy the classic variety: rich and smooth, but I’d like to experiment this year with spices, flavors, maybe the crock pot. I’d really like to have a hot chocolate party, provide materials to experiment and invite friends to discover new favorites.

White Christmas. This movie never ceases to bring a sense of comfort, festivity and joy into my holiday season. This is not diminished with my own age, the number of times I see it or the terrible versions I hear of the song sung by people who will remain nameless for their own protection. Other holiday movies may come and go, but this is one of my stand-bys.

Kids. There is something about watching children in the winter. I am blessed to have some adorable children in my circle and I love watching them play in the snow, burrow under a Christmas tree or (yes even this) watch the Disney Princess Christmas movie for the millionth time. The way their eyes light up with delight inspires me to find delight within myself, there is certainly much to delight in.

Christmas Music. Vintage and crooning, modern and innovative, classic, indie, loud or quiet, I enjoy a good Christmas playlist, but I won’t turn it on until after Thanksgiving.

Advent. The season leading up to Christmas is one of my favorite in the church year. Like many of the seasons, it’s a time of paradox, a time of anticipation and excitement and preparation, but also a time of intense longing, looking around at the suffering in the world and crying out in frustration. There is much to be found there.

Snow Walking. There is nothing quite like taking a (well-bundled) walk in the snow. Everything is bright and white and clean and every footfall is quiet. The world is both muted and amplified.

The Nutcracker. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized that the Nutcracker is a very strange story. Read the original German version (about Marie instead of Clara) and you may agree with me. However, I spent many years going to the Nutcracker as a young girl, several years dancing in the Nutcracker and the last few years recovering from the Nutcracker. This year, I’m going back. I miss the dancing snowflakes.

This is not a complete list, by any means, and I’d love some suggestions. What do you love about winter? What are you trying for the first time this season? Let me know.