Oh yes, that time of year, that for many of us signifies the legitimate beginning of ski season. I am talking of course about skiing on Christmas, and the days surrounding. If you’ve never skied on Christmas, let me tell ya – you’re missing out. Not only does it represent a great excuse to either get away from the family, or bring the whole family along, but also there is nothing quite spending time at the ski hill to help mellow everyone out during what can be an especially stressful time of year.
My mom still happily recalls the day when either my brother or sister asked, ‘Mom, could we go skiing on Christmas?’ Up until that point, the day had been marked for less-involved things, like sledding, riding in a sleigh or just spending the whole morning building a freshly-unwrapped Lego set. Not that any of these activities are a bad way to spend the day, but at the risk of sounding blasphemous, I’m sure you’d agree that scoring some fresh turns is the way that Jesus would have liked to have gone about it.
First and foremost, the primary benefit to skiing on Christmas is the lack of crowds relative to the other days on the holiday calendar. Not that we don’t all love waiting in a nice, long holiday line, but compared to the days following, Christmas day allows for the potential to ski up to the lift in some places. Sure, good luck with that if it happens to be a powder day, but hey, it’s a powder day, so that’s as good a reason as any to be thankful! Even if the snow sucks, the festive cheer is fully in the air, and the decorations on the offing for most mountains keep that spirit going strong. Better yet if you’ve got some new gear to try out!
Spoil the lifties
While there are plenty of jobs that are straight-up depressing to work on Christmas, it’s not such a bad day to be a liftie. Sure, some folks might be far from home which can be hard on anyone, but there is a kinship among those working on the mountain, and let’s face it – it’s far better than working in a grocery store, or some other thankless job like that. What better way to celebrate the folks working hard to keep the mountain open than to shower them with candy? It’s a win-win: they get some candy, and you can save some room in your tummy for the feast later in the day. It’s not all about the lifties though – don’t forget to give some love to the ski patrollers, lift mechanics and the personnel who spend the day working inside!
Be sure to join in on the cheer and wear whatever festive garb you have on hand. If there is a day to not really care about looking like the steeziest steezer on the mountain, this is probably it. And if not, just enjoy the goofballs riding down the mountain in their Santa suits, as there are bound to be plenty of them.
The mountains are magical
Let’s go back a step here to mention the magic that is Christmas Eve festivities at most mountains. While COVID threw that for a loop in 2019, 2020 represented a chance to get back to one of the more majestic spectacles – the torchlight parade, accompanied by fireworks (and a little snowcat Christmas Tree formation, just for good measure!). Your author grew up witnessing these in Winter Park, but the parades take place across most major resorts, with celebrations at Jackson Hole, Deer Valley, Tahoe and Snowbird, to name but a few. Amid the (never-ending) COVID stuff, 2021 is still looking like a safe bet for most mountains to hold the festivities. Just do us a favor – if your dog is even slightly skittish, leave the poor thing at home!
Whichever way you choose to spend the holiday season, be sure to check with us for deals on tickets, lodging and rental gear, so you can spend more of that hard-earned dough on excellent presents, and more importantly, so you can more spend time with those you love in a winter wonderland!