Snowman gone but Christmas spirit intact

Dale ShrullGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Courtesy photo

Victor takes care of the outside while Lois handles the inside decorating.That’s the way it’s always been at the Gabossi home.”It’s such a wonderful time of time of year,” Lois says about getting into the Christmas spirit.But this year, a dastardly deed has dimmed the holiday cheer at the Gabossi home on Mitchell Creek in West Glenwood.For 41 years, there’s been one decoration that has always graced the home. A plump little snowman about 3 feet high with a tilted hat, smiling face, holding a broom.Somebody swiped him. Now that’s not very nice.”Is this the right Christmas spirit, to steal someone’s old snowman that’s all beat up?” Lois says with a laugh.After 41 years, this unnamed snowman has suffered some wear and tear. But he still works. Imagine that – a lighted snowman that was bought back in 1966.”His painting was a little worn but he still had color,” Lois says. Then she gives a medical rundown of the missing snowman.

“He had a cute face and a broken arm and a broken foot. He was a little worse for wear and needed to go to the emergency room,” Lois said with another laugh.But she doesn’t laugh when she talks about the actual crime – yes crime.”They just unplugged him and took him. You feel violated. You don’t know what else they’re capable of. It wasn’t funny, I was so upset that we couldn’t go out to dinner,” Lois says.They have no plans to replace the little guy.”We just check to make sure our red, white and blue lights are still there every night,” Lois says.Like most of us, Christmas is about tradition for Lois and Victor. At 73, Lois is a year older and she offers this tiny anecdote about their marriage:”I thought I could actually change some of his ways but it didn’t work, but we lasted anyway.”They’ll celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary in AprilShe makes prime rib and homemade ravioli for Christmas dinner, and the house will be filled with family.That missing snowman was part of the Gabossi tradition. Either on the front porch or the back deck, or this year, when he made his first, and possibly last, appearance near the end of the driveway, he’s been out for 41 Christmases.Lois thinks they bought the little guy at Hesteds, a department store at the corner of 9th and Grand, where the Colorado Mountain College art gallery is today. Or was it Gambles, a little farther down Grand? She’s not sure.Lois does remember that their oldest daughter, Vikki was 9 years old when they brought the snowman home.

Lois says this year wasn’t easy for Victor when it came to decorating. The Christmas spirit didn’t take hold immediately.She says Victor wasn’t feeling up to doing the outside decorations, and even considered not getting a real tree.But tradition is strong at the Gabossi home.Victor dug out the decorations and the 41-year-old snowman, and got the job done.Lois was impressed.”I honestly think the lights this year was one of his best efforts,” she says.The lights were up and the old snowman out front. Christmas spirit was alive and well at Lois and Victor’s place.Then they returned from a friends’ 60th wedding anniversary. They planned to settle into their early evening routine.”We like to watch ‘Wheel of Fortune,'” Lois says.That’s when they saw the empty extension cord.”We thought maybe it was kids pulling a prank,” Lois says.She hopes someone will return the tattered snowman but …

“I feel like we’ll never see that snowman again. But that’s life,” she says.Lois likes to joke about the snowman, laughing as she talks about how he broke his foot in a windstorm. But this is about tradition and about someone taking something that doesn’t belong to them.It’s not like the old snowman will turn up on a milk carton or anything, but it’s not right.Lois says that this might have been the snowman’s last year. After 41 years and all those injuries, they were thinking about retiring the old guy.But that’s not the point. He’s part of the Gabossi Christmas tradition.”It’s not that Victor didn’t think about throwing it away a while back,” Lois says laughing.But that’s not the point.For 41 years, the old snowman has been part of the Gabossi Christmas tradition.Maybe someone will find a little Christmas spirit and plug the old guy back into that empty extension cord.Christmas traditions are what make the holidays special.Prime rib, homemade ravioli, a house full of family, and maybe, just maybe, there will be a 41-year-old snowman out front come Christmas morning.Back where he belongs.

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