Christmas is as Christmas Does
My numb fingers gripped the tow rope on Bear Mountain’s bunny hill as hard as I could. The freezing night air blew tiny stinging snow bullets in my face.
This is my last run tonight, I thought when I finally reached the top of the hill and stood on the edge of a bright circle cast by a giant light at the top of a nearby chairlift pole. A stocking cap covered my head, goggles covered my eyes and part of my face, but the whipping snow stung my bare cheeks and took away all the fun.
Snow skiing on Christmas Eve sounded like a blast, and it had been before it got dark and my parents headed up the chairlift, leaving me on the bunny hill to practice not falling. I had a lesson that afternoon when the sun was shining. This was my first time night skiing, and it was OK, a lot like day skiing, but then it got way colder and the wind started blowing. Dad had given me a dollar to buy some hot chocolate and a giant cookie. That sure sounded better than skiing in this blizzard.
Carefully I made my way down the short hill. My fingers were too numb to put my skies back on, so I couldn’t fall. The hill was mostly empty, so I had no trouble skiing from side to side, practicing my lesson learned turns at either side of the hill.
At last I made it to the bottom and skied to the thick wooden stairs leading up to the deck in front of lodge. Balling my hands into tiny fists inside my mittens, I finally got them warm enough to undo the safety straps around my ankles. Carefully gripping the railing on one side of the stairs, I climbed up to the lodge.
Picnic tables surrounded a large warm fire where I could sit and thaw out. Christmas decorations hung from this giant metal cone shaped chimney hanging over the round fire place. Quickly I pulled off my hat and mittens. As soon as the fire warmed my fingers enough for me to grip my zipper, I opened my coat and let the fire’s warm air rush in. Soon I was ready for that hot chocolate and giant cookie.
Sharing the Christmas Purpose
I turned toward the counter where a few people waited in line while this lady wearing an elf’s hat brought them plates of food and steaming Styrofoam cups. I felt like Herman Munster as I clumped toward the food counter in my heavy ski boots. A kid, younger than I, sat by himself silently soaking up the fire’s heat.
“Hi,” I said.
“What are you doing?”
“Just waiting for my parents. What are you doing?”
“Same thing, waiting. I’ll be right back.”
At the counter, I asked the elf lady for two cups of hot chocolate and two small cookies.
If I go without a giant cookie, I can get a regular cookie and some hot chocolate for me and my new friend. After all, it is Christmas Eve.