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Snow show conducive to the Christmas spirit

Rick and Jilda WatsonOn Saturday morning, I got up early to let Ol’ Buddy outside. He needed to visit our neighbor’s yard to do his fertilizing chores. When I opened the door, I could hear something ticking on the boxwoods. I stepped outside to get a better look. The wind out of the northeast was cold and put goosebumps as big as BBs on both my arms.

Apparently the snow had been falling for some time and collecting on the branches of the pine and it looked like shards of ivory in the glow of the streetlight in our yard.

I stepped from under the eve, looked up, and opened my mouth to catch a few snowflakes on my tongue. I hadn’t done that since I was a kid.

I cranked up the fireplace and we drank coffee as we watched the snow show out our front windows. It’s been a while since we had snow this early in the year that actually stuck to the ground.  

Our great nephew, Jordan, walked over with his mom from next door. He’s not quite 2 years old yet, but he’s already seen snow twice in his short lifetime. Jilda calls him a snow baby. He had on his snowsuit and he was bundled as tight as a link sausage.  

He was loving the snow. I lobbed a couple snowballs at him and he soon learned to dodge and to return fire. We had a large time.

After the sun came up, we decided it was a perfect day to pick out our Christmas tree. Each year we get a live tree that we can plant in the yard after Christmas so we can enjoy it year after year. 

The first tree we ever bought was a white pine about 4-feet tall. We planted it at the northeast corner of our house and it now stands at least 40 feet tall. If we cut it down, it would probably provide enough timber to build an outhouse if we decided to go retro with our plumbing.

There were years when we were broker than the 10 Commandments and couldn’t afford to buy a tree.  We improvised by digging up the Christmas tree from the year before and putting it in a No. 3 washtub. I remember thinking it looked better the second time around. 

This year we found a 7-footer at Pine Hill Farms near Fultondale. We walked around the tree several times and shook snow from the branches to make sure the shape was just right. 

A few minutes later, a couple of high school boys swooped down with sharpshooter shovels and in a flash, we were on our way home with our new tree.

There is an art to decorating the Christmas tree properly. You need hot apple cider, about three hours of Christmas music, preferably, Elvis, Karen Carpenter, Emmylou Harris and “December” by George Winston. Not all together, mind you, because that would sound weird, but in a tasteful mix. A fire in the fireplace is also conducive to the tree decoration.

We always unpack our Christmas ornaments with great care. We now have 35 years worth that we’ve received through the years as gifts from friends and family.  Each one is a treasure and comes with a story that we get to relive every year at Christmas. 

All in all, it was a great day! I started out licking snowflakes from the sky and ended up sitting by the fireplace sipping hot cider and admiring a beautiful Christmas tree. What a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.  


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