One of the most beloved symbols of Christmas is the snowman. We see countless variations of this cherished figure everywhere during the season and even in warmer climates, the snowman is celebrated. For those of us who’ve grown up in Canada, we’ve all enjoyed making a snowman with loved ones and adding our own personal touches to our creation following the first snowfalls of the winter season. The snowman brings a smile to our faces and has been doing so for centuries!
When we think of a snowman, we often think three snowballs, layered on top of one another, combined with coal for the eyes and mouth, a carrot for a nose, tree branches for arms, a scarf, and of course, a black top hat. Today, we see many interesting variations from this lovable figure.
The origins of the snowman are unfortunately unclear. There is uncertainty about who made the first snowman; however, it’s been said there are likenesses of this iconic symbol of Christmas and the winter season going back as far as the Middle Ages.
Snowmen created from snow and their likenesses have existed over centuries and have appealed to different cultures. According to Jenney Cheever, the snowman had become a celebrated figure of the Christmas season by the Victorian era. During this era, thousands of representations can be found ranging from paintings to greeting cards to advertisements. There is considerable variation between these representations, but there is no denying it’s our frosty friend.
The twentieth century secured the snowman’s iconic status with what has become one of the most loved Christmas carols, “Frosty the Snowman.” It was written by Steve Edward Nelson and Walter "Jack" Rollins. Gene Autry recorded the song in 1950 and it has remained a Christmas classic ever since. We can all recite the lyrics by heart and find ourselves singing along with Gene Autry each time we hear the song on the radio more than 60 years later. The immense popularity of this song is underscored by the long list of other artists who’ve since recorded the song, adding their own touches, making it new again for each generation.
Today, we see all kinds of variations and interpretations of the snowman. His image is seen on everything from Christmas cards, ornaments, decorations, to art. The popularity of the snowman is as strong as ever and it’s a Christmas symbol we continue to enjoy sharing with our loved ones.
Hopefully we will have a white Christmas here in Dufferin-Caledon that will provide the perfect opportunity for you and your loved ones to build a snowman together. It’s definitely a fun activity for everyone and will surely remind you of your favourite memories of Christmases past. However you choose to celebrate this season, I sincerely wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!