Growing up in Las Vegas meant not seeing much snow, if any, except for during our annual sledding excursions to Mt. Charleston. While this might cause some people to have an aversion to snow, I think that's why I have such an affinity for it. I can't seem to take enough pictures or stare long enough as it falls--I am in complete awe of its radiance and how it affects any landscape.
When I think about our snowless Christmases, back in my parents' home, I am reminded of how my mother played a part in encouraging my love of snow. She was the one packing the van with blankets, food, and hot chocolate; making sure everyone had as many layers of socks on but would still allow feet to get into our shoes; and singing Christmas songs all the way to Mt. Charleston. (My dad seemed to enjoy it plenty, but he was definitely not the concertmaster on these gigs.) Once we drove around a bit and found a good spot, they let us play until there were too many of us whining, and then we'd make the trek home with an ice chest full of snow if were were lucky.
I am also reminded of another way snow was brought into my life--through music. Mom always pointed out how Jesus was born in Bethlehem and it probably wasn't actually snowing there at the time, but for some reason she seemed to play carols about snow the most--or maybe those are just the ones I remember most because they weren't accurate. Who knows?
So anyways. When we were dividing up her belongings after she passed away, I ran across her Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD, The Spirit of Christmas (1996) and remembered how she used to blast it in the kitchen while baking Christmas cookies enough to stock every home within a ten-mile radius. I play this CD so much during Christmas time that it has become part of the fabric of the season for me and hopefully for my children too. I never thought I would care so much about a CD, but I must tell you it moves me to tears every time I listen to a particular song: The Snow Lay On The Ground. If I am actually hearing the song, it doesn't matter what's going on, I stop and let the music blanket my soul and I am with her in that kitchen so long ago feeling her warmth and love of music even better than I did when I was actually there because I see her now. I understand what mothers go through, what sacrifices they make. I understand the importance of surrounding myself with godliness. I understand better, by not having her close, how beautiful she made life with what she had to offer. I believe I have learned to appreciate her divine and infinite worth.
When I think of snow, I think of my mother which turns me closer to my God and Savior, and thus awe and wonder are beyond justified.
The recording in this video is not near as good as the one I have, but it will give you a sense of the what the song sounds like, at least.