This last week was our annual family Snow Trip – and yes, I always capitalize it., because it is so much a part of our family history. I know I’ve blogged about this before, but since the server crash, my old posts are gone and I thought I’d go ahead and talk about it again.
This year actually marked the 20th year of the Snow Trip. Our kids have grown up with the Snow Trip. Some of them have gotten married, moved far away and are building family traditions of their own, now, and the little ones are are now reveling in sled runs, ski days, cribbage tournaments and snacks whenever they come in to warm up before heading outside to play in the snow again. It really is a little kid’s dream for five days every year.
Besides just being a lot of plain old-fashioned fun, I really value the time that we have to connect together as a family. Cousins learn how to get along with each other, sharing the few toys that are brought along, compromising and working together to play card games and board games, because every family has their own “house rules”. Seeing the kids who were once the little ones, now stepping up to be the big kids helping to watch out for the little ones and teach them how to navigate the sled hill on a boogie board, how to stay upright on a snow board or how to turn on a set of skis.
The kids get to help make sure that we leave the cabin cleaner than we found it, that we don’t make a mess and just expect someone else to clean it up for us. They have seen and heard their grandparents pray for their safety and their spiritual growth. They have joined in the prayer, thanking God for giving them a family who loves and cares for them, for the blessings that their grandparents are to them, and for the fun that they get to look forward to each year at the Snow Trip. Gratitude is a good thing.
Even when we lived far away from family, the Snow Trip has kept us connected with each other in a very real, very grounded way. Oh, my goodness, it was a bigger deal to us than Christmas back then! Please don’t misunderstand me. We have never minimized the importance of Christmas, but there have always been two countdowns in our house: one countdown to Christmas and one to the Snow Trip. At some point during the Christmas celebration, we always sit down and discuss meal plans and snow gear supplies for the Snow Trip.
We have been able to share our Snow Trip with family friends who have become regular attendees with us – expanding the circle of “cousins” and adding to the fun. My brother- and sister-in-law brought a foster son with them this year, which added a new dimension to the trip. It was his first experience playing in the snow and while he was having the time of his little life playing with all the cousins, he was also learning right along with them how to function in a large, boisterous, caring family. What a blessing it was to be able to see the Snow for the first time again through his eyes.
So, while I did get quite a lot of knitting done during the past week, I don’t think I’ll share it with you just yet. I wanted to try to explain a little bit of the magic of the family get-together with you. And whatever your family traditions might be, I hope that they are just as precious to you and yours. I’d love to hear about them, so comment away!
Here is one last photo that I think perfectly sums up the trip for us.