How fun it was to wake up Christmas Eve morning to a tiny dusting of snow. I’m not sure one would call it a white Christmas but it was pretty close. It’s been years, I believe, since we’ve had one on the Vineyard.

Growing up in Rew, Pennsylvania we usually were under snow cover at Thanksgiving and did not see the ground until sometime in April. I do not think we ever had a “snow day.” The school bus driver put chains on all the tires and took us down in the valley to school every day. The various roads leading up to Rew had nicknames such as Suicide Hill and the Rat Slide.

We spent a tremendous amount of time sled-riding. There was way too much snow on the ponds for any sort of figure skating or ice hockey. The boys in town built toboggans and bobsleds. They were simply too fast. The hills were at least a half mile straight down and ice-covered. I remember coming home bloody and frostbitten many times.

Do we really recall these as “the good old days?”

I, for one, enjoyed Christmas Day with above freezing temperatures, sunny skies and zero traffic here on the Vineyard.

Not much news in garden world this week. My very late-planted (mid-

November) winter rye actually came up.

Now that the light is changing, I expect I will start some cold-weather crops in the greenhouse.

The seed catalogs have been arriving daily. Why, oh, why do so many of the companies send duplicates? I cut up some this year and used them to wrap presents. I refuse to buy wrapping paper and do the old lady thing of carefully unwrapping and folding any paper that comes in on a present.

Several years ago, our family cut way back on the commercialization of the holiday. It’s been a financial boon and a stress-reliever. We all enjoyed our gag and handmade gifts, plus we had a fabulous Christmas Eve supper.

No one, however, gave me what I wanted–to come over and take something away.

Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with the introduction of the first nativity scene. This was around 1220 BC. Since then, it has become a particular Christmas art form. This year, I put up my mother’s crèche. It had been packed away since her death. It is completely different from the one I usually set up and a nice reminder of her and Christmas past.

The holiday is filled with tradition. Every family seems to embrace a unique one.

Also, this time of the year is one for reflection and hope for the year to come.

The media does a good job of remembering the events of the year–the famous deaths, noteworthy storms, political kerfuffles, and feel-good stories.

By the time this hits the newsstands, it will be time to think about some goals and changes for 2019. I, for one, rarely stick to my New Year’s’ resolutions for even a week but I’ll give it a go once again. Hope springs eternal!