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Christmas Tradition #8

December 25, 2010

I know you think I forgot about you but I didn’t I just got a bit busy.  Thanks for waiting!

Christmas Tradition #8 is not an every year tradition but an every time it’s possible.  You need the right set of conditions. Condition one, Christmas in a small town called Salmon Arm.  Condition two, snow. Fluffy, big, beautiful drifts of snow.  Condition three, a reservation for a horse drawn sleigh ride in the snow.  I can’t think of anything more christmasy!  Can you think of all the songs that reference it? Here are a few:

Jingle Bells: Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh (our sleigh had two horses, Tom and Toby)

Sleigh Ride: Just here those sleigh bells jingling, ring, ting, tingling too

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas: ‘…and sleigh bells in the snow’

The first time we went a few years ago was right in Salmon Arm and great fun.  My sister brought song sheets and we all sang (except for Todd).  It was in the middle of the afternoon and pretty fun but really, really cold.

Last night, Christmas Eve, we made our way out to Notch Hill to the Watter’s Farm. Now this family does it up right. Our reservation was for seven pm so it was dark but as we turned down the drive the barns, houses and a little log cabin were all lit up with Christmas lights.  The sleigh was beautifully trimmed with red ribbons and bales of hay covered in colourful blankets.  We remembered how cold we were last time so we’d brought out own just in case.

Tom and Toby are the oldest horses on the farm and are big, beautiful white Percheron draft horses.  We were joined by some cousins of the sleigh driver and a family who has been coming for a Christmas eve sleigh ride for five years.

The youngest member of our party was a cousin to the driver, about 4 years old.  As the horses pulled out we asked him what songs he knew and got everyone singing, Jingle Bells, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Rudolph.  Our driver had some stories to tell us of the farm, the horses and past sleigh rides.  As we stopped to take a break we could hear the coyotes yipping in the hills and we all looked up to watch for Rudolph’s red nose.

As we finished our trip and pulled into the yard we were welcomed into the old log cabin, toasty warm and heated by a wood-burning stove.  Home made cinnamon buns and hot chocolate warmed us all up and then we went to meet Jack, the six month old and newest member of the stables.

You have to make your own Christmas Spirit sometimes but in these conditions it is so easy to find the joy of the season.

Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year to you all,

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