Those White Christmases…

Deanna Eppers
4 min readDec 21, 2022

And how I miss then now.

It happens if you’re lucky enough. You live to be my age, which means past dating, past marrying the love of my life, past three pregnancies, past raising three spirited children, past three weddings to become old. A grandmother. Granted, a grandmother who was called out by my almost 4 year old grandson for saying, “shit” tonight. After I burnt a batch of cookies.

All the Christmases are remembered, patchy in spots, but generally pearls on a strand, one following the next. Trying to sleep, because I knew I had seen Rudolph’s red nose glowing in the sky and that meant Santa. I just had to sleep or he wouldn’t come to our house.

Having to take a train home from college after my family moved back to Upstate New York, while I stayed behind. Skiing with my family and my husband (boyfriend then) who first met my parents when he came out for a week-long visit (so glad they liked him, or that would have been quite the long week).

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Flying home on Christmas Eve due to my first real job, being stranded in an airport but making it home just in time for Midnight Mass. Where my mom cried when she spotted me from her place in the choir. Snowflakes falling fast and thick and feeling cozy, knowing I was home. Safe.

Making a home with my husband in Wisconsin, where white Christmases are guaranteed or should be. Missing my family in New York while staying in Wisconsin with our children and in-laws. Holding a days old child, asking my husband to choose the perfect tree with our daughters and watching a tree dwarfing the car coming down our street. The tree I coouldn’t reach around from the upstairs railing to decorate. The tree my girls still remember and loved the most.

Then the big move to very Southern Ohio where we do not have snow very often, and we made our own traditions.

Christmas Eve and Chinatown Buffet. One snowy Christmas that meant every child on our street sledded down our hill and into the street (cul de sac, and not much traffic, but I know, I know). Not having a large dinner, but greeting Christmas morning with coffee, Irish whiskey, chocolate and staying in jammies as long as we liked.

Deciding to continually create new “traditions” like the Team Awesome shirts our teenage daughter made (not online) herself. White elephant gift exchanges now, where humor wins. Which is why I spent a small fortune on ThisIsWhyImBroke. But wanting to give my husband the perfect gift. Not just sex. No. More than that. Sheesh, not tantric sex, though I have to go onto a new train of thought now.

I want snow. A big, fluffy snow by Christmas Eve, please.

Photo by eberhard 🖐 grossgasteiger on Unsplash

Do I want to be a child again? Not really. I like eating Godiva truffles while wrapping gifts and listening to “Hotel California”. But I told my grandson about seeing the red glow of Rudolph’s nose when I was five, and trying to sleep so Santa wouldn’t skip my house, and I want the magic of all that snow, hope, Jesus’ birthday, stockings, presents, and magic to come together this year.

I want to feel like a child for a few minutes, and snow is how I’ll get there. I grew up with it. And as lucky as Southerners have it every other day in winter, looking out a window on a moonlit, snowy landscape fills me with wonder at the pristine beauty of a frozen world. The North Pole seems closer, and truly the world appears happier in the glow of frozen cheeks and happy smiles, for a white Christmas brings me that.

I’m waiting.

Well, I’m actually baking, wrapping, cleaning, planning Christmas dinner (we have that now, new tradition), and fixing that strand of outdoor lights that keep shutting off. And I’m praying for lots of snow. If it’s going to be 4 degrees (not Celsius stuff either!), it may as well snow. And we have a decent shot at it. A large storm is brewing out West, and I’ll wear my jammies inside out if I must (Southern Ohio tradition).

Wherever you are, whatever you believe in, I hope you have a white Christmas in your heart. That kind of warmth that comes when magic meets myth, but we believe it all anyway. Maybe I should call it childhood. But perhaps it’s that and a wee bit more.

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Deanna Eppers

Musician, ex-CPA at KPMG Peat Marwick, volunteer, decorator, renovating another house, mom to three, wife to one, blogs about finding happiness