For the first time in 43 years, the southern Piedmont of North Carolina had a white Christmas. I can’t explain why it made everything feel more special, but it sure did. The windows of my mother’s kitchen were mostly fogged over because of the extreme cooking going on. Just through the tops of each pane of the bay window, we could check to see that yes, it was still coming down. It snowed even more overnight, so the next day was a day off and a snow day! We take snow pretty seriously around here when it happens. I’ve become a great collector of snow clothes and snow tips. Here are all the ones that have helped us.
Establish one door for everyone to use and stick to it all day.
Wear shoes in the house all day. Stepping in a small snow puddle in socks is the worst.
Make sure everyone goes to the bathroom before bundling up.
Set up a drying rack near that door. If you don’t have one, use a string with clothespins or chip clips. Even a step ladder will do for hanging up things to dry. If the clothes are not to wet or soiled, they can go straight in the dryer.
Apply petroleum jelly to the wrists near the glove/mitten openings for water repellant and to little faces and lips so they don’t get chapped.
Always tuck a tissue in each coat pocket. Cold noses run more often.
Keep all your family’s snow clothes, extra hats, gloves and scarves in one place. You don’t want to waste time looking for gloves or snow suits in every closet.
Tighter clothes seem warmer but they actually keep heat from circulating around your body. Loose layers are the key. A pair of leggings makes a better inner layer than say, a pair of tights or hose. Also, if your socks are too tight, your feet will get colder faster.
I hope it doesn’t come to this for anyone but my mom used to put bread bags around our shoes for a water resistant effect. A bread bag might work better, and look better, if worn over the socks and under your shoes and pants. This is for the truly desperate snow lover with little feet. Thanks to a habit of buying anything snow related from Goodwill, no matter the size, I now have a collection of snow boots that makes this unnecessary.
Remember, most of your body heat is lost through your head. No point bundling up if you don’t put on a hat of some kind.
If you need something on a snow day, a local hardware store is your best bet. Stores like Wal-Mart and K-Mart don’t usually carry the right gloves or boots and I have never seen a sled in either store, not this far south anyway.
If you don’t have a sled, a trash can lid, a Rubbermaid storage lid, or a pool float will work well. Even a large cookie sheet will work for the right sized kid. If need be, you can slide your trash can lid in a trash bag. It will make it more slippery and more sanitary.
If there is enough snow, use a waste basket to make “bricks” for a snow fort. Pack one with snow and stack the “bricks” as high as you dare. There are more things to make than snowballs, snow forts, snowmen and snow angels. My daughter had a blast making an oversized four-tiered snow cake decorated with holly.
When you start to build with snow, use the snow from off a snowed-in car. Two birds, one stone and it will feel less like work. Clear a path from your door to your car as soon as possible to prevent the cycle of packing and re-freezing that builds a sheet of ice between you and your car. If you are able, shovel for someone who is not able.
Your fire pit is not just for summer. A snow day is a great day for lighting it up.
To be really ahead of the game, boil water for hot chocolate and put the chocolate in the mugs before you go out.
For me, a snow day is also about food. Have a snow day meal ready in your pantry. I like the hearty vegetable soups that come in a large pouch. They are dehydrated and easy to fix. I usually add ground beef, corn and/or a can of tomatoes. I am not one to keep a stocked pantry but these things would be easy to buy and save for a snowy day.
When the snow first starts falling, put out a clean large bowl to catch snow for Snow Creme. When I first moved here from the mountains of NC, I had never heard of Snow Creme. It is a big tradition here. Click here for a recipe.
If you don’t have a good sledding or playing yard, a city park, a church, the YMCA, or some golf courses are great places to just show up and have fun.
If you don’t have kids, feel free to play anyway. At least get out for a walk and take some pictures. If you are not one to get out in the snow, set aside a favorite food, movie, or book that you treat yourself to only on snowdays to make it feel like a more like a holiday.
For all readers north of the Mason-Dixon Line, this may read like too much fuss over snow. We do tend toward the crazy side in the south at the slightest mention of snow in the forecast. Snow here is celebrated as a time when God whitewashes the world and gives us a chance to be children for a day. I hope you can all enjoy it, at least once, wherever you are.
Thanks to my sister and my friends that I collected some of these ideas from. Thanks to my daughter who let me use her pictures. Thanks also to my husband who works so hard everyday but knows that life is too short to miss a great snowday.