When I was a child growing up in Ohio, I could hardly wait for Christmas. Each day was a million years long.

Images of the Christ Child and Santa Claus with his beard white as snow lingered in my mind day and night.

I remember Christmas as a world of everything white — especially the snow. To keep myself busy until the big day, I loved playing in the snow making snow angels and snowmen.

Snow angels were my favorite. I would find the softest patch of fluffy snow and lay down in it. Then I would flap my arms up and down and move my legs outward and inward real fast many times — kind of like doing jumping jacks. Finally, when I jumped up and looked down at where I had lain, I could see the imprint of an angel’s wings where my arms flapped up and down; and I could see an angel’s robe where my legs moved out and in. My snow angel was beautiful, and she made me smile.

And I loved making snowmen. I would grab a clump of fresh-fallen snow and shape it into a small ball. Placing the ball into the snow, I gently pushed it and rolled it over and over again until it was big enough and round enough to form the bottom of the snowman’s body. Then I’d make another snowball and roll it in the snow until it was somewhat smaller than the first one. It became the middle part of the snowman’s body. And finally I made a snowball somewhat smaller than the snowman’s middle, and it became his head. I imagined my snowman wearing a black top hat and a red scarf thrown around his neck. He looked very handsome standing tall in the snow.

Wintertime fun continued as the days got closer and closer to Christmas. We lived on a small hill, and the city closed our street to traffic because ice would form on the street, making it too slippery for driving. My sister, friends, and I would fly down the hill on our sleds, screaming and laughing all the way. Snowflakes swirled and twirled above us and around us. When we arrived at the bottom of the slippery slope, we dragged our sleds by its rope back up the hill so that we could slide down again.

Afterward, cookies shaped like snowballs and dusted with confectioner’s sugar accompanied mugs of hot chocolate with whipped cream on top.

It was good to be back inside by the fireplace where Santa would soon come down the chimney. The countdown was on. Soon it would be Christmas!

When Christmas Eve finally arrived, our family put on their best Christmas clothes and trudged through mounds of fresh-fallen snow to Midnight Mass. As we made our way, a plethora of snowflakes fluttered down from heaven, promising the world a White Christmas.

I wore my favorite hat made of fuzzy white angora. By the time I reached the church, the snowflakes that had landed on my hat sparkled like little stars of Bethlehem. As the Mass unfolded with its sacred message of good will to all men, the tiny stars on my hat melted into prayer as the choir sang “O, Holy Night.” Flickering flames from the altar’s candles danced in anticipation of the Christ Child’s birth. I bubbled with excitement.

The dawn of a white Christmas morning would soon be here and, for one glorious day, all would be well with the world. It was going to be a wonderful snowy white Christmas!

(Lola Di Giulio De Maci is a Fontana resident.)

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