The first snow of winter always brings back fond memories of shoveling, snow forts, snowmen, snow angels, and staying out until I could barely see because the early winter sun had set. My mom would have to call me inside for dinner and I would trundle into the house from a winter wonderland that more often than not had already started to melt. These events were, and are, rare and special in this wet and mild coast we live on, so I still get excited when I see snowflakes; however, I don’t like that I have to commute in it these days… but that’s another story. That said, last weeks snowfall reminded me of another childhood memory: Finnish snowball lanterns. These are especially fun to make during the holidays as some outdoor cheer, but unfortunately here, the snow melted before Christmas actually came. That’s ok, it still felt festive!
Pre-make a big pile of snowballs and then lay them in stacking rings, one on top of the other. Don’t worry about it being perfect, that’s part of the charm! The layers will naturally start to come together as the rings get smaller and smaller at the top. Before you lay the last couple layers, put a tealight at the bottom (make sure you compress the snow underneath, otherwise the tealight will melt the snow and sink, flooding it) and light it. Then go ahead and close it up! If it is below freezing outside, the tealights should last few a couple hours.
And for those of you who live in areas where snow is in abundance at this time of year, these would make some great outdoor decorations lining the driveway or walkway to your house for guests coming over for Christmas or New Year’s parties! If you want to ensure that the candles remain lit for many hours, you could also put in battery operated pillar candles into each lantern (just be sure to put the candle on a plate first so it stays dry on the bottom). It won’t glow in quite the same way but also won’t burn out before your guests leave.