I don't remember winter having much of a particular impact on my life. I spent most of my childhood in Seattle where, admittedly, we have rain quite often all year 'round. When school started, true, it was still summer; but, we always got sweaters and heavy skirts. Then, of course, we would have an 'Indian Summer,' and have to switch back to our old summer clothes until autumn and winter came along. By the time we went back to school after Christmas Vacation, the sweaters and skirts were quite useful.
I remember my dad telling us that when our grandparents first moved to Seattle, Green Lake would freeze over enough that cars could be driven out onto it. I couldn't imagine that. It hasn't happened in my lifetime, as far as I know. We did, however, get at least some snow each year.
One year, when we lived in Wallingford (I was probably about ten years old), we had enough snow to build a snowman in our front yard. We drank hot chocolate and I remember going to our neighbor's house during that snow, also. Her name was Judy Davila. We lived on a city street and had a few families with children on the same block. We all played together. When we were too cold and wet to play out in the snow anymore, we gathered to play games and drink more hot chocolate, usually at our house. My mom was a fun hostess.
During the winter of 1967-68, after we had moved to Sandy Hook on the Kitsap Peninsula, we had a lot of snow. We were living cozily in one of two vacation cabins on our property. We had a huge stone fireplace that always had a fire to keep us warm. It was very rustic. Dad had acquired some surplus powdered chocolate and we made our own hot chocolate mix in a big, green Tupperware bowl. We had a cup and bowl set for each member of the family (all different colors). I remember lining the cups up on the counter and making hot chocolate for everybody. I've never, I mean it, had better cocoa! That year is one of my favorite winter years.
EVERY year, I prayed and prayed that it would snow on my birthday, December 15th. I honestly don't remember if it ever did! I suppose if it had, I would have a memory of it. I have since modified my birthday wish to having my Christmas tree up and decorated on or before the 15th. Winter, Christmas and my birthday have always combined to give winter a magical feeling for me.