Snow on Christmas

It started over sixty years ago staring through the picture window as the snow frosted the oak trees in our backyard. Nothing beat a glistening coating of snow at Christmas. I correct myself. A foot or so of snow on a school day was more welcome. Snow day!

Snow on Christmas is a common topic in Ohio. My memory as a child in Northeast Ohio is that Christmas was snowier than it is now. The National Weather Service climatologists busted that fact. 67% of Christmas Days had no snow to a trace of snow. Snowfall has been pretty consistent over the years.

2022 is looking to be one of the most memorable Christmas snowfalls of my life. It’s Christmas Eve with artic weather, fierce winds, and frigid temps hovering around +- zero degrees. Little snow is on the ground with the fields lightly dusted and my patio and garage doors drifted.

Christmas of my youth began with Christmas Eve service at St Pal’s Lutheran Church. Afterward, the family gathered at my dad’s bar, Jokie’s Café. Dad would close the bar with us kids running amuck. We were sent back to my grandmother whose house was attached to the bar while he closed for the night. We drove home in the Plymouth through Downtown Alliance festooned in Christmas glory and the neighborhoods ln full living Christmas color.

The light up nativity that graced our State Street Mantle

My most memorable Christmas snow was sometime in the early 60s. It had snowed all Christmas Eve leaving the roads treacherous. Our 500-foot drive was snowed in. My dad had made it to the bar to serve up liquid Christmas merriment. Our Christmas Eve was laying in front of the TV and fireplace marveling at my dad’s Christmas decorations on the mantle which he took great pride in.

My dad was not home when our bedtime came. My mom sent us to bed against our protests.  My dad’s three-mile drive home from Jokie’s was snow-covered, icy, and slow. He turned into our driveway and was promptly stuck. Being the Santa he was, he made several long slogs through the deep snow with his arms laden with Santa’s gifts.

My dad loved decorating the picture window.

Christmas morning arrived, early as always for my siblings and me. Toys and gifts surrounded the tree. It was a wondrous sight. There were three extremely large stuffed animals among the Christmas booty. Mine was a lion I would use as a pillow watching TV for many years.

This memory remains fresh in my mind. It is about what Christmas should be. My dad did everything he could to make it special for us. We awoke to a winter wonderland outside that picture window. My dad was safe and home and watching us tear through our Christmas gifts. The snow could not stop us from being together as a family.

My dad loved Christmas and went overboard in decorating our house. He was the master of spray snow! That Christmas was the best example of that Christmas is more than lights, tinsel, and spray snow. Christmas is about being together as a family.

Tom on Christmas 1958

Merry Christmas!

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