The Weather Outside is Frightful
But The Fire is so Delightful
Winter officially starts December 21
and kids of all ages are singing "Let it Snow!"
Although the lyrics of this still popular 1945 song speak of frightful winter weather, excitement usually greets December snows.
Kids and not-so-young kids bundle in warm clothing and head outdoors. It's not just child's play to romp in the snow, and it's practically a rite of passage to get into an occasional all-out, no-holds-barred snowball fight! It doesn't cost anything to make snowballs ... or to make a snow angel.
Pond hockey, tobogganing, and sledding can wait. First comes the creating of an original Frosty the Snowman.
While singing the weather song and conjuring visions of the 1969 animated television special that plays annually, amateur sculptors start with three snowballs and roll them across the freshly fallen snow into body parts: the torso, chest and head. Forget the song's version of a corncob pipe, button nose and black top hat. Young artists are more likely to use a carrot nose, charcoal briquettes for eyes and a big grin, sticks for arms and an old neck scarf and earmuffs or a Santa hat.
When dad gets involved and the snow's just right, it's time to build the biggest snow fort for local bragging rights. It takes a heavy snowstorm to produce high drifts of wet, malleable, snow that can be molded and hardened.
Although the usual snow fort is built as a fortress to protect the builder from the snowballs of "enemies," more mature artists are creating snow castles with turrets and awesome details.
The biggest snow fort in the world is rebuilt annually and of different architecture. The Snow Castle of Kemi, Finland, contains a hotel, restaurant, chapel, theater and an ice art exhibition. Guests can spend the night in one of the 18 bedrooms, snuggled in thermal sleeping bags.