In my book, Christmas should always be white. Not white sands but white snow. This year, however, the Hodson family decided to spend eight days in sunny Florida right before Christmas. A trip of a lifetime for the boys with a visit to every theme park and landmark that could be found. Blue skies, shorts, alligators and sand was exciting and new but as Christmas loomed closer, my heart started to empty of its love for 80 degree temps and flip flops and longed for the snow capped peaks of the Wasatch Mountain resorts.
Dazzling lights, fake Christmas trees, bells and wreaths, concerts and shows could not make up for the loss of December in Utah. As much as I had been thrilled about the change in scenery, I needed to get home. All of us needed to get home!
We were giddy, even after a long, LONG flight home as we stepped into the chill of pre-Christmas Eve with highly anticipated joy. The boys worried that Santa would not know we were home but he came, quietly and stealthily amidst the stars gleaming above the city, blanketed in white. The cold morning dawned as Noah and Isaac reveled in their loot and I yawned and enjoyed the peace of my own home. Hotel rooms and busy itineraries drifted into the past.
Legos captivated the boys and breakfast filled them but eventually they began to wonder why we were still lounging around the house? Didn’t we ski on Christmas? Wasn’t it tradition? Jet lagged and sleepy and feeling rather Scroogy, Matt and I finally decided that yes, we belonged on the slopes on Christmas Day.
The short drive up Big Cottonwood reminded us why Florida could never compare and we greeted Solitude Mountain Resort with enthusiasm. The late afternoon sun was already casting it’s shadowy light when we finally clicked into our bindings but ski Utah on Christmas Day we did. With not a second to spare, we high tailed it through the recently opened Powderhorn gate and made our way into Black Forest. Sun baked drifts gave way to shady patches of soft fluff and we turned effortlessly as we dropped into the silent valley of Honeycomb Canyon. Anyone who had been there had long since gone home and we relished in the quiet together as a family.
Beaches cannot compare on Christmas Day to the beauty of pines drooping with the weight of sparkling snow or craggy peaks glowing pink and purple with the effervescent glow of the setting sun. Winter in Utah is brilliant and spectacular and if you are even thinking of skipping over our magical playground for the magic of other places just wait until the snow melts because when you dream of winter, you should always dream in white.