Friday, December 30, 2016

A Different Sort of Christmas

We did something different for Christmas this year. In place of purchasing gifts for our adult children (there were presents for the grands), we booked four nights in a stand-alone chalet at Mount Washington, about 3 hours of driving north.

"Spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with your in-law families," we said. My parents came to spend those days with us, and we had a lovely time. 

So on Boxing Day (Dec 26) we packed two vehicles to the roof and beyond and drove north. On our second evening we feasted on cheese fondue, with crusty bread to dip, along with steamed vegetables and cooked meatballs. It was reminiscent of being in the Swiss Alps. And the snow fell in great, fat, drifting flakes; in hard, swift pellets; in steady crystal twirls. And the snow shone in between the snow. 

"Why does this woman like snow so much?" some readers may ask. 

I grew up where winters lasted far too long. By February I was sick of snow, sick of cold, and just wanted to escape to warmth and sunlight. 

Then I moved to South America. For 20 years. I can't tell you how much I missed the rhythm of the seasons. I even missed the snow.

Then we moved here, to southern Vancouver Island, where it snows very little, if at all. And I longed for snow. I still do, every year, and am thrilled when it comes, for I know that it won't last long at all. This year we've had snow here at sea level and we knew there would be a lot on the mountain. There was. 

This was our view at 7:46 this morning. Until that moment we hadn't been able to see the distant mountains. 

8:01 am. Faint pink drifts in to dismiss the blue of night.

8:11 am. A bit of yellow comes to warm the pink.

8:21 am. The sun lifts itself above the horizon and glows on the mountain peaks.

8:29 am. The rising sun washes most of the colour from the sky and pours it over the landscape.

8:37 am. The sun rises steadily for her short, shallow winter arc, and day's brighter blues will dominate the landscape.

By 10 am we were packed up and on our way home, with memories and a few other things to remind us of our time together in the snow. There will be more snow tales to come. 


  1. What a lovely idea! Time away together! Very special.

    What a lovely view, too!

  2. Anonymous6:15 PM

    What a wonderful idea for a different gift for your adult children. I'm going to consider this for a half way point next year since our kids with baby due are not too keen on traveling across the mountains. Looks like a wonderful time together.

  3. I love your plan to celebrate where you could have snow and all be together. Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year!!

  4. How absolutely wonderful, Lorrie. Your photos are exquisite. I was imagining trying to paint this in plein air (although I am sure I would have frozen outdoors), and how the colors would have to change every few minutes. So glad you were able to have this time with your family. I am a "season" person, too, and though we don't often get snow this far south, I love when we do. And then I love spring, and then summer (but it's my least favorite season), and am always SO ready for fall. Thank you, again, for sharing this beauty.

  5. A splendid idea! What a special way to spend time as a family -- and the photos, as usual, are wonderful. Happy New Year!

  6. What glorious photos. And I loved your narration. I was watching the snow fall with you in all those different forms you described.

    So glad you had such a wonderful time with your family. So many memories to pack up when you drive back home.

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year. May it hold many blessings for you and your family.


  7. Sounds like a very interesting Christmas. I know you have tales to tell as I have been behind your comments a few times this week and I have been curious. I am thinking Florida sounds lovely just now. Either that or a new truck with a big plow or even a snowblower.

  8. I love this idea! The gift of time......Such a lovely place! I grew up in New England with lots of snow and sledding and ice-skating. I miss that. Looking forward to more snow scenes. Happy New Year! x Karen

  9. A perfect present for your family. Something I'm sure you will treasure forever. Cheese fondue reminds me of early married life. They were very 'in' in those days. Beautiful photos of the mountains and the snow. I look forward to more. Have a happy new year. B xx

  10. What a wonderful idea - a gift that will live forever in the memory - the views are stunning. I bought a Fondue set in Switzerland 40 years ago, and it is still sitting in the cupboard, hardly used - perhaps I should get it down!
    Would love to learn more about your time in S. America.

  11. What a beautiful way to spend the holiday! An amazing and incredibly beautiful memory for the family. A few years ago we visited Mt. Hood for the new year and at sunset I remember marveling at the pink color of the lighting. Your photos (as usual) capture the moments beautifully.

  12. Looks absolutely gorgeous, our daughter and family are up there this weekend, hope to take the kids tubing in the snow.

  13. You were bold and made memories in a new way! Good for you!

    I love that series of photos that showcase God's awe-inspiring creation! Great captures!

  14. What a good idea. How lovely it all looked. I have spent a couple of Christmases in a very snowy region of Canada and it is like a fairy land...until you try and walk anywhere!

  15. That's a special christmas memory for all your the snowy images.
    Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

  16. Wonderful idea for a family holiday get-away, Lorrie! Your photos are positively breathtaking!! Spectacular!

  17. Your 'different kind of Christmas' looks just lovely! Happy New Year.

  18. What a lovely idea and a great way to spend Christmas! Happy New Year!

  19. I echo the other comments that your chalet get-away was a wonderful idea! I'm sure that this unique gift produced many happy memories. Happy New Year, Lorrie!

  20. That is a wonderful idea Lorrie. What gorgeous photos you took of the sunrise on the snowcapped mountains. Just stunning! Happy New Year to you and your family.

  21. hello
    Pour cette nouvelle année, je te souhaite :
    2 fois plus de bonheur,
    0 problème,
    1 santé d’enfer,
    7 tonnes de belles surprises !
    Bonne et heureuse année 2017.
    mille bisous

  22. It all sounds lovely . A break from traditional Christmas sounds refreshing. I LOVE your love of snow. Thanks for sharing that you missed it. We are hunkering down for Wisconsin winter, and I'm hoping it is a snowy one. Some of my best knitting takes place in january

  23. The gift of time together is very special ... and gets more so the older we get.

    I just love looking at your photographs, I don't think I will ever tire of looking at them,I've scrolled up and down quite a few times now!

    Many good wishes for 2017

    All the best Jan

  24. Such a beautifl post with so many wonderful memories. Happy New Year.

  25. Amazingly glorious photos - what super memories.

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