Warm Weather Snowmen

Two years ago I was at a neighborhood party, drinking a lovely drink, but my mind was not on the eggnog. I was thinking about the neighborhood contest for the best Christmas decorations. It was going to be judged the next day, and I was afraid that we might not win.

The uncertainty bothered me.

Then, in the middle of the party, I suddenly realized what we needed to do. It was simple, it was cheap, and it would guarantee victory.

A snowman.

A snowman may not seem like the most original idea for a house at Christmas, but this was in Kirkland (near Seattle), the temperature was around 10° C (50° F) and there hadn’t been snow for ten months.

But I’m Canadian so I can sense frozen water and I knew where we could get snow on short notice, even on a warm December weekend. The source was just five miles away. The next day we made that snowman, and we won the contest.

Year 1

Did you know that you can fit enough snow to make a very respectable snowman in the trunk of a Hyundai Elantra? A couple of plastic garbage bags to contain it and you’re set.

Frosty the Kingsgate ice arena snowman

If some snow is good then more snow must be better, because nothing exceeds like excess:

The second load of snow

Whenever anybody asked I would refused to give a straight answer about where the snow from. I’d mumble something about strangely localized snowfalls, change the subject, or throw snowballs until they stopped asking.

Snow man

Year 2

The next year our need to win was even stronger, and we felt that just repeating the snowman shtick would be insufficient. We tried two snowmen but that still didn’t seem like quite enough, so naturally we made an igloo:

Christmas decorating contest, lights and snow

Christmas decorating contest, lights and snowSure it was an igloo, but it wasn’t a very good one. It never got a roof, and I wasn’t sure it would be enough to push us over the edge. It turns out that making igloos is hard – especially when it is raining.

Clearly  we needed another snow element. With help from a Scottish friend (they also instinctively understand cold) we covered the entire front walk with snow. I then waited for the judges to show up so that I could shovel a path for them.

Christmas decorating contest, lights and snow

We won again.

Year 3

This year, even though we focused more on the lights than on the snow, we still managed to incorporate a little snow in our Christmas decorations. We buried the pathway in snow again, because I really like that look:

IMG_2849 (1024x683)

And we did make a snowman. Well, sort of…. But we built it pre-melted – it’s quite a time saver to just make a pile of snow and toss a carrot and a top-hat on top:

IMG_2863 (1024x683)

Need I say that we won the third year also? We are now a snow-feature dynasty.

As for where the snow comes from, I’m afraid that is a Canadian secret.

About brucedawson

I'm a programmer, working for Google, focusing on optimization and reliability. Nothing's more fun than making code run 10x faster. Unless it's eliminating large numbers of bugs. I also unicycle. And play (ice) hockey. And juggle.
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3 Responses to Warm Weather Snowmen

  1. KorkyPlunger says:

    Ok here’s my guess: it came from a pile of shavings left by a Zamboni at the local ice rink?

    • brucedawson says:

      You should put “spoiler alert” in front of comments like that!
      Yes, that’s basically it. This trick means that virtually anybody can have a white Christmas. Surprise the kids with a snow fort when they awake and tell me about it.

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