This week I was greeted with one of my favorite sights outside my window: A sparkling snow-covered landscape.
Like so many of you in the Northeast, I got hit with a big pile of snow this week from the winter storm. I still hold onto my childhood glee at the sign of flakes, trying to catch them on my tongue and staring out the window at their beauty. My dog is also a big fan (although he mostly munches away on snow like it's the most delicious treat he's ever eaten).
Snowstorms often bring snow days to schools where roads are impassable for big yellow busses. This year many schools are already doing remote learning, so there's no need for a snow day, right?
Well, actually, a snow day is something we all need.
Several school districts had snow days Thursday even though they're using virtual education because of the pandemic. School officials recognized that everyone – students, teachers, parents, staff – needed a little bit of a break, and a chance to make some memories that have nothing to do with COVID-19.
"Snow days are chances for on-site learners and virtual learners to just be kids by playing in the snow, baking cookies, reading books and watching a good movie," New Jersey's Mahwah Township Public Schools told parents in an email. “These are times for memory-making, and we believe these types of opportunities should remain intact.”
Outside of Philadelphia, Neshaminy School District Superintendent Rob McGee had this to say, "Snow days serve a number of purposes including allowing time for students, parents and staff to do essential snow day things such as dig out the driveway, dig out the neighbor's driveway, watch their younger siblings, etc., so life may return to normal the following day."
I have to say, the thought of kids who have had an unreasonably hard year just getting to build a snowman, go sledding and try to win a snowball fight with their siblings made me tear up a bit.
Lots of things are different amid the pandemic, I cherish every moment that gets to be the same as before.
Today's look back: The year in photos
2020 was a doozy of a year, we all know it.
Although we have two weeks left in the year, we've been spending a lot of December looking back at where we've been. There has been tragedy, struggle and grief. There has also been inspiration, love and hope.
Our photo editors put it simply introducing a gallery they put together illustrating 2020 in photos: "Coronavirus pandemic. Social justice protests. The battle between Trump and Biden. 2020 was a historic year in many ways. We remember it through these stunning visuals."
Here are a few standout photos from our gallery reliving the year in pictures, one for every day (it will be updated through Dec. 31).
See the full, and truly stunning gallery click here.
"This year we've seen what can only be described as a tsunami of need," said Kenneth Hodder, the Salvation Army's national commander. A record number of Americans need help this holiday season.
If the snow results in a power outage near you, here are some good tips for cooking (or well, sometimes just mixing) without power.
An intriguing Christmas quandary: Why don't we roast chestnuts on an open fire anymore?
I wrote about the TV shows that helped me get through 2020.
Today we have a dog and a cat to kick off the weekend.
"Twelve-year-old Toby and nine-year-old Tigger tolerate each other quite well," says human Shelley Lehrkind of Bozeman, Montana. "They are just hanging loose for the evening."
The best siblings tolerate each other, I find.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: We never needed snow days more than in 2020