As I write this, sitting in a hotel room in Kansas City, sipping coffee and watching the army of snowflakes charge to the ground, my friends sleep peacefully on the bed and the TV chatters softly in the background. The current blizzard has trapped us here all day and will continue to imprison us until tomorrow morning. This has given me a lot of time to think.
Snowflakes have always delighted me. Ever since I was a kid I couldn’t wait until the holiday season. Christmas trees, fireplaces, eggnog and sleds were just a few things that excited me. Growing up in North Carolina meant there was snow—of course snow in North Carolina is not like it is here in Nebraska. Sometimes it snowed a lot and sometimes it didn’t.
One year we would have a foot of snow and ice for nearly a month, and another year it might be 70 degrees on Christmas day and we’d be digging through our stockings in shorts. You never knew when it would snow but whenever it did, the whole world seemed to come alive.
Mornings after a good snow were always hectic. Us kids would jump out of bed and rush to the window to gaze at the heavenly white powder. Then someone would shriek and sounds of running footsteps and yelling of “Where’s my hat?” and “Where’s my boots?” were all that could be heard. Breakfast was forgotten as we’d race toward the door.
I could always count on my dad when it snowed. No matter how cold it was, he would put on his gloves and hat, slip his feet into his boots and grab his snow shovel to begin shoveling the driveway.
When that was finished he’d move on to the neighbor’s house. Sometimes us kids would help him. Our toes and fingers would become numb and soon there was more play and complaining than work. However, my Dad never complained.
I think a lot of times we tend to get caught up in the holidays—caught up in the shopping and the gifts and we forget the true meaning of Christmas. Often times, the greatest gifts are the ones money cannot buy and people can’t repay.
These are the gifts we often forget about even though they can be given each and every day. I hope this holiday season we can all give more gifts like these and remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Lena Wilkie is a freshman studying international rescue and relief.