“Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul,
With a corncob pipe and a button nose,
And two eyes made out of coal.”
-From “Frosty the Snowman,” by Walter Rollins and Steve Nelson
Whether Gene Autry or Jimmy Durante comes to mind when you hear that song, most of us know a popular version of “Frosty.”
A snowman is a happy sight. Snow always lifts my spirits—at least the first few days of its presence before it gets all crusty and its edges become blackened by automobile traffic. Standing in the middle of a snowfall is an exhilarating experience, and building snowmen, snow forts, and having snowball fights are rites of passage for children of Northern climates.
In 1967 metro Chicago experienced a record snowfall. Schools were closed where I lived for days. Huge snowdrifts piled up, and tall, solid walls of snow were created by plows trying to clear roads so life could return to normal. The kids in our neighborhood tunneled through more solid drifts and built igloo-like rooms within them. Occasional breaks to warm reddened hands and faces after a snowball fight, or for cocoa reinforcements were brief. The snow called loudly to us, and we responded.
I can still feel the sting of my hands “defrosting” after a long session in the cold and blowing snow, and the thud of a snowball hitting my back.
We don’t see much snow here in metro Atlanta, but we’ve had a few glorious episodes when schools were closed, sleds came out, and kids built their snowmen, as if by instinct. One time, my son and a friend built a couple of armchairs out of snow, so they could sit and admire their snowmen made lifelike with pinecone eyes and arms of fallen branches Their furniture and men sat in my front yard for days since the temperature stayed low. I was sad to see the men’s pinecone eyes fall to the ground as they melted.
The earliest known snowmen are from the middle ages. The practice of building them could predate that time, which comes from snowmen depicted in art of that era. Snowmen have been associated with Christmas for centuries.
Once when my kids were young I left a bag of marshmallows and another full of chocolate kisses out on the kitchen counter when I went upstairs to do a load of laundry. I had plans to let them make s’mores in the fireplace as an after-dinner treat, but the little rascals got their hands on the bags before I could make my intentions know. My return to the room interrupted their judging of the marshmallow snowmen they’d made using the kisses and some other candy from a stash I’d thought was secret. The Marshmallow Snowman pictured here is a replica of one of their creations.
Are you looking for a fun holiday activity for your kids, or kids of all ages? Or a cute, edible centerpiece for a holiday gathering? Just stack marshmallows of different sizes and decorate them to your liking with candy. Construction is easy and the results are sure to delight.
Anything easy is perfect for me, and anyone else who finds the holiday season a little hectic. Feel free to use our example as a guide. While you’re here take a look at our 2012 12 Days of Christmas series as we roll out a new picture each day. And check out our smart cookbooks for people on the go. Priced below $8.00 they make wonderful virtual stocking stuffers and gifts for people who love delicious food that’s quick and easy to make. Remember, ebooks can be sent to anyone with an email address!
Stop in tomorrow to see what we’re doing on the 5th Day of Christmas.