The smell of citrus and cinnamon. Bright starbursts exploding over white ski runs, over white blanketed trees, over rose cheeks from the cold. Hearty laughs from Dad. Roaring fires to warm the face and carols sung to a starry sky. That is what I remember most about Christmas growing up.
I don’t remember what I got from Santa when I was eight. I don’t remember which toy I waited in earnest for. What I remember is where I was; who I was with.
Arriving at Snowbasin’s Christmas Eve celebration I feel like I’d transferred back in time to my childhood. Back to a time when Christmas was more than check lists, gift buying, and a series of errands. Back to the joy of anticipation, the wonder of beauty, and the peace in simple moments.
We arrive early, maybe 4:30pm, but the party has long started. And despite the crowds all searching for a table and chairs, everyone is in such a great mood. With every elbow bumped and toe stepped on I hear, “Merry Christmas,” at least a dozen times over. At one point I stop in the middle of Earl’s Lodge, with candle light falling around me, spin in a circle and think, “it is like we are all one big family!”
Then Santa arrives in his decked out “ski sleigh” and I can’t help but run outside with all the kids, giggling as anticipation brims over. I even ditch my mom, who was saving the table, to do it.
All the kids run inside and wait for a chance to sit on Santa’s lap for one last Christmas wish before Christmas morning.
After a dinner of turkey, pork, ham, creamy potatoes, crisp veggies, and decadent desserts we meander outside for the highlight of the evening: the ski light parade and fireworks.
And just like when I was a little girl, staring up at the towering Rocky Mountains, the air fills with citrus and cinnamon. Mixes with the smell of cold and snow.
The bright starbursts explode over white ski runs, over white blanketed trees, over rosy cheeks from the cold. There are hearty laughs from Dad. Roaring fires and carols sung… all to a starry night sky.