Festivus – a non religious celebration during the Christmas/Winter Solstice time.
Every year around Christmas, everyone in my family makes time for skiing with each other. It is partly because it’s the time of year and partly because most of us already spend any spare time we have in the winter on snow, but mostly because on the mountain is the one place we can all connect without making it feel like they’re sacrificing something to be there. This is the one time of the year that I forget my never-ending quest to get gnarly, chill on my game plan, and make the purpose of the day to meet my mom at the bottom.
The time I spend riding the lifts with my mother is sacred to me. She has a style that is all her own. With her early 90’s former-rental equipment (that she still thinks of as brand new), LL Bean book bag with broken zippers and lunch for 12, and fogged prescription sunglasses, and a boeri helmet with one ear flap broken so the padding sticks out like a hound dog’s ear.
She’ll ride next to me and when I point out my lines from previous runs she will groan and make disbelieving noises while looking at the wrong line. When I point out the real one, she will say something like “I wish you could just let me think you were doing reasonable things”. After she has decided that I must want to ski on my own, she will relocate herself to the tap room to participate in her next favorite ski hill activity: talking to young people at the bar so she can later tell me that she met my friends.
Skiing together is as much of a tradition for my family as seeing the Nutcracker or singing carols is to other families. And that’s why I feel bad; this year the snow happened to be so good, and then the sun came out, and it was stable. What I’m really trying to say is, I’m really sorry mom. I know you understand that I just needed to ski with my friends and make this movie but I promise we can rip together soon.