Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Prelude to Christmas: Memories and Southerner Spanish Moss "Snowmen"

Welcome Sarah Monzon to the blog. She has a unique treat for you today! Sarah's here to share memories of how she celebrated Christmas a child in Florida, and it involves making "snowmen" out of Spanish moss. She's included a "how-to" guide toward the end of her personal essay. 

There will be no Rafflecopter widget book giveaway today because Sarah's offering her Christmas novella 12 Days of Snowmen for FREE when you sign-up for her newsletter by following this link,


If You Give a Southerner Spanish Moss...She Might Make a Snowman
A personal essay written by Sarah Monzon

Snuggling up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket, hot cocoa in hand, fire crackling in the hearth, glittering snow weighting evergreen boughs's an image we conjure when we think about Christmas. Insert the "I'm Dreaming of A White Christmas" song. This was not the Christmases of my growing up years. No, those Christmases looked like tank tops and flip flops and air conditioning. I grew up in Florida folks! More palm trees than fir there!

But don't let the tropical weather melt your holiday spirit. We may not have had the traditional ingredients to make Snowmen, but that never stopped us. 

Here’s the blurb for my book, 12 Days of Snowmen: Lucy Nel is determined to make her foster daughter's Christmas special by creating for her a 12 Day Snowman Extravaganza in the heart of Florida. Her good plans end up in a messy puddle, however, and she finds herself grudgingly accepting the help of a complete—although quite handsome—stranger.

While writing this sweet story, it was fun discovering all the different ways you can make snowmen without any actual snow, although I admit I may have used one or two of my own family traditions. Here's one for you (in case you find yourself in the South in December): The Mossman. That's right. A snowman made of Spanish moss. My grandfather started this tradition and my mother, who still lives in Florida, makes one every year.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for you to make your own Mossman:

Step 1: Gather a massive amount of moss, either from the ground or the branches. Careful with those ladders!

Step 2: Take some boards and make a small X. Hammer that into a 4x4. That's your stand.

Step 3: Get a roll of chicken wire and make three cylinder shapes of varying widths.

Step 4: Place the largest chicken wire cylinder around the base and stack the other two on top to get a basic snowman shape.

Step 5: Stuff the moss through the chicken wire holes. 

Step 6: Accessorize Frosty.

Step 7: Grab a glass of ice water because even though it's December, you're sweating buckets.

It may not be traditional, but it is funky and you wouldn't believe the number of people who stop by my mom’s house just to take pictures of her Florida snowman.

How about you? Do you and your family share any fun and unusual Christmas traditions or decorations?

Author bio: 
Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain's wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. 

Playing pretend all day with them isn't enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. 

When she isn't in the world of make believe, she can be found in a small desert town in central Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

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