December 25 Tradition

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (the much-fabled East Coast), Jeff and I had a December 25 tradition—spending the day at the movies and dining on Chinese food.  It was, to this Jewish family, nearly sacred. Our Park City tradition involves a full ski day at Deer Valley, including breakfast. I couldn’t wait.

However, I was so excited to get to breakfast that I left the house without my typical double-check of the contents of everyone’s ski bags. (I blame Betty the Bichon Frisee, who camped out on the ski bags as if to dare us to leave the house.  Still, I was so distracted by the threat of her wrath that I blame her for what happened next.)

I know that my husband is an adult, and can check to see if his gloves are in the bag—but I’ve made this my domain, and I dropped the ball. We discovered this as we unloaded the bags at the resort, so he doubled back to Jeremy Ranch for the gloves, while I went in with the kids to order breakfast.

We have a few folks we count on seeing—including The Perkins family. (If I tried to explain the many ways this family matters to ours, we’d be here all day, and I wouldn’t get to type a single word about the skiing.) Suffice it to say, they are dear, dear friends, and we look forward to standing in line at the breakfast grill with them every year.  This year, we noticed that we’re not the only folks who know that Deer Valley has the best breakfast menu in town. The giveaway that it wasn’t a skier’s-only affair: A little girl in a red taffeta party dress and Mary Janes, her mom in cute jeans and high-heeled leather boots.

“That little girl is definitely not skiing,” quipped Lance.
“But she looks so cute, it doesn’t matter,” I countered.

Cold Eggs Benedict (Jeff’s—I ordered anyway, not sure if he’d be back in time to do it himself) could not ruin our day. The kids dug into their breakfast choices—Belgian Waffle for Lance, Froot Loops for Seth (they are a near-delicacy in our house, so rare is the appearance of sugary cereal in our cupboards.), and, eventually, so did Jeffrey.

What followed: hours of bluebird day skiing, running into more good friends in the lift lines, and a chance encounter with Ruby the Raccoon. Seth challenged her to a race, but her human companion suggested they simply take a run together. I should add that I’d been trying to get Seth to follow my turns all day, to middling effect—but for Ruby? The kid made perfectly carved parallel turns. Go figure.

All day, the kids (and we) had been anxiously keeping tabs (via text and flight tracker software) on our friends’ progress from Miami. Finally, just before last chair, they appeared—suited up and ready to ski. What followed was more laughter than one could hope for in a single ski run, as we reacquainted the Florida kids (two of whom spent their earliest years in Park City) with the sport. (And a special shout-out to Lisa Palmer-Leger for capturing these priceless memories with her camera.)