SITTING by the fire, drinking egg nog and watching the snow fall outside as Christmas carols play softly in the background.
For years, I'd lived vicariously through re-runs of cheesy American holiday movies, dreaming of a white Christmas.
Last Christmas, I had my wish.
A week out, we're driving to a family friend's home in Boulder, Colorado, and the road is framed in snow.
The night before, the town at the base of the Rocky Mountains was dumped in snow in preparation of our arrival.
I could not pull my gaze from outside and while I hoped for more snow on Christmas day, this was enough to get me in the spirit.
Arriving in Boulder, we met up with my in-laws and had a few days to kill before my parents arrived on Christmas Eve.
So we headed to Aspen.
My vision of Aspen was conceived by watching Dumb and Dumber, but when I got there that thought was quickly replaced with memories of walking the snow-sprinkled streets lined with fairy-lit trees.
One night, we were walking back from picking up dinner when we saw a lonely man roasting chestnuts over an open fire in the snow.
Could it be any more cliché?
Having never had roasted chestnuts before, the man showed me how to peel the shell off and handed me a brown paper bag of nuts.
The little bag of warmth was my saving grace as we made our way back to the unit and I was eager to try this winter treat.
Okay, I don't like roasted chestnuts. After a couple of days in Aspen (no celebrities spotted), we made our way back to Boulder.
By then, the snow had defrosted and the frosty-white mountain at our back door returned to a straw-coloured yellow.
It was Christmas Eve and I was busy making egg nog, as per my dad's request, when tiny snowflakes began to fall (I'm not making this up).
Rushing to put our boots on, we ran outside to experience this winter wonderland and wondered how long it would last.
Come morning, everything was covered in a plush blanket of snow.
It truly felt like Christmas. Still in my pyjamas, I squeezed into my snow gear and ran out the door. But after playing and throwing powdery snowballs at each other, we experienced what it was like to live in the snow.
Armed with shovels, we hit the driveway to clear the car and pavement - what fun.
As the temperatures drop back home and I reminisce about my white Christmas, I can't help but dream about my next getaway - Christmas will be here before we know it!
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