We’ve all probably built dozens of them in our lifetime, or helped someone. Snowmen adorn the snow-covered lawns of families across the world. Sometimes it’s just one, sometimes an entire family of snow people. And there was nothing as fun as finding old clothes and other items around your house to bring him to life. Afterwards, as long as it stayed cold enough outside, your new frosty friend was there to greet visitors to your home for days to come.
For those in warmer climates who’ve never experienced this fun activity, a snowman is a man-like figure constructed from compacted snow. The image of a snowman is popularly connected with Christmas and is fixed in Western culture.
A snowman can be constructed by rolling a large ball of snow for its body. A second or third smaller ball is placed on top, as its middle body and head. Facial features, such as eyes and a mouth are added using coal, small stones, twigs, yarn or buttons. A nose may be added, using a piece of fruit or a vegetable, such as a carrot; sticks are sometimes added as arms. Snowmen are often depicted with a pipe and a hat. However, depending on the creativity of the person or people who made him, a snowman could be adorned in just about anything imaginable. In the United Kingdom and Japan, snowmen commonly are built with two balls of snow, whereas in the United States three large balls are generally used.
Frosty, the most famous of snowmen, was a Tin Pan Alley novelty song created by Jack Nelson and Steve Rollins in 1950. Gene Autry bought the rights to it and recorded it. Golden Books also published an illustrated children’s book about Frosty later that same year.
So this winter season, put on your warmest coat and mittens, find a magical hat all your own, and bring your own snowman to life right in your front yard. Colorful crayons on white paper work just as well if you live where it’s sunny!
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