|Catherine's first snow of the season|
CATHERINE: We just got our first winter snow here in Indiana. The skies are pewter palettes that would make a black and white photographer swoon. The air is heavy with anticipation of the coming transformation that will cover brown and wrinkled plants, old and weary of struggling for a last breath against frost.
Some folks decry the onset of icy days and chilling nights, but my birthday is in December and I’ve always loved this time of year. Not just for the holidays, the decorations (though I go overboard every year) or the giving and sharing and the majesty of Jesus’s birthday, but for the feeling of magic that permeates the end of autumn and the beginning of winter.
|Catherine's 'frozen' chandelier|
|Catherine's snowy winter table display|
The winter solstice is December 21st. It is the beginning of the “Positive” energy period of the year. For six months, the earth is pregnant with new growth, new beginnings that will come to live in the spring. Few people understand this. Too many of us think of the “dark days” of winter as a sad time and some do suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I’ve been lucky to evade it thus far. As an author (or a creative person) this seemingly “dark” time is quite the opposite. It is the time of gestation of ideas. This is when the creative mind blooms.
|Catherine's 'frozen' garland|
When I was very young, not in school yet, I used to sit on my low chest of drawers and look out my bedroom window at the snow and I made up winter fairy tales, about the Faeries and Elves who lived beneath the blanket of snow and worked diligently to feed and care for the tulip bulbs in the ground. I made up horrible creatures who kidnapped the little elves and took them away to ice castles at the Arctic. These were the stories I told to my sister who suffered greatly from Asthma and other lung problems. Once I invented sea monsters, my brothers joined in the listening.
|Catherine's 'winter night' tree|
I always remember Russian fairy tales that our next door neighbor Harriet Hazard told us. She had the best—I mean the best—Christmas cookies. I still make her recipes every Christmas.
For centuries, storytellers have created Winter Fairy Tales to entertain. Disney’s mega hit, FROZEN, has captured this new generation in a way that Snow White didn’t come close to hitting.
‘DAY AFTER TOMORROW’ with Dennis Quaid is now my son Ryan’s favorite.
The list of Christmas movies goes on forever, but I have, have to say that there’s still no movie like WHITE CHRISTMAS. And the songs! Well, that’s another blog.
RULA: Those are great movie picks, Catherine! Before I list a few my family loves, I have to say that your 'frozen' winter decorations are fantastic! I love what you did with your chandelier.
I love how you describe winter as Earth's pregnancy and that it's a time for ideas to gestate too. I totally feel the same way about winter. It's full of potential energy, yet there's also a serenity about it that encourages everyone to slow down. It's a chance for all to stop and breathe. Sometimes, that's when the best ideas come to life like sparks flitting above the crackling logs in a fireplace on a snowy night.
My son has been performing this month in his school play, Peter and the Starcatcher, and one of the things orphaned Peter (before he gets his name) longs for most is to gaze up at a twinkling, starlit sky. I don't think the night sky ever sparkles quite as dramatically as it does on a crisp, clear winter's night and all those stars...and the fireplace sparks, Christmas tree lights and glistening snow...remind me of Tinkerbell and 'star stuff'. I like to think of falling snow as 'star stuff', or star dust, sprinkling down on us so that our imagination and ideas flow like they did when we were kids. That makes winter a precious time for writers.
But when I'm not writing, I love watching movies with my kids and we love all of the ones Catherine mentioned. FROZEN was and is a big hit in our house and I can't resist watching DAY AFTER TOMORROW. Both Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal are awesome in it. I'll add ICE AGE (and its sequels) to the list. That has to be one of our favorites.
When my youngest was even younger, he also loved the SANTA BUDDIES movie. Gotta love cute golden retriever pups at Christmas! And of course, we always watch A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, RUDOLF THE RED-NOSED REINDEER and FROSTY THE SNOWMAN.
But although there's a bit of romance going on with Rudolf, I'd have to say one of my favorite romantic winter/holiday set movies is WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING.
What are your favorite 'wintery' movies? I know there are more great ones that we're not thinking of!
Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Winter Solstice to all our beloved readers, Heartwarming Sisters, fantabulous Editors and our entire Harlequin Family!
Catherine and Rula