I grew up in the South. I saw snow, real snow not just a few flurries, only once. Then I moved to South Dakota and my life changed forever. The picture above is an example of ice crystals in the sky. When it's so cold the moisture in the air freezes into crystals, the street lights reflect off of them into columns reaching towards the heavens.
They will also freeze on contact to the plants and makes a beautiful sight in the morning.
The first time I ever saw this was during Christmas week. I was so excited over the beauty of the light columns, I sat for hours in the window surrounded by colored lights, staring out into the night. Then I called my grandmother and told her all about it.
Then there was the snow...
I had never seen snow so beautiful outside of pictures. It wasn't wet, dirty, and sloshy. It did blow sideways at about 100 mph at first, but then when it settled down I swear you could here the tinkling of crystals if you listened closely enough.
But I had no idea that after that snow would be another. And another. And eventually I couldn't find my car any more and what the heck are snow chains?? I drive a sports car!!
But I still dream of a white Christmas every year. I moved to Utah when I got married and had kids and most years we had at least snow on the ground, but now I'm South again. I miss the magical columns of light, the stinging snow, the games of hide and seek with my car...
Those memories make my Christmases special. My grandmother has passed since, but the hours we spent on the phone every week describing to her the things she's never seen and the laughs we shared make me a little teary-eyed every year, but I smile at the same time.
I missed her mashed potatoes that first year away and she wrapped and mailed a potato as a present and I never laughed so hard...
What makes Christmas special to you? Is it the memories of Christmas past or the memories you're still making?