In this day and age, however, the snowman is big business. Not the kind you make wearing mittens of course, but the kind sold and traded online, peddled in flea markets, and sold in arts and craft stores across the globe. From snowman pendants to snowman cookies to fake snowmen made of plastic with bulbs for innards that light up in the yard because people are to busy to take a minute to build one, the modern snowman knows how to make a buck.
Typically a snowman is a ragtag non-descript construction made sloppily by small children, yet when personified in art or food, cartoons or books, the snowman is always conjured as a holly jolly happy soul. When traveling to ski resorts or snow bound resorts, one rarely if ever sees a snowman, yet find any picture of Christmas, any Christmas card, or most anything depicting a snow laden field and one will usually find a snowman standing about. In reality the snowman is the most American of winter characters. He is a holy bum of Christmas, the mutt, the orphan, the melting pot’s gift to Santa, thrown together in a labor of love by innocence and wonder. The snowman stands guard over the joy of wintertime like a scarecrow watching guard over a field full of crops, albeit his crop is the joy of children playing in sweat riddled coats and mittens, dreaming of Santa visiting their house in the quiet of Christmas Eve enjoying lazy cold days while they build a friend out of transient snow.
Perhaps the snowman has nothing to do with Christmas itself, being that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Christ, but he certainly typifies the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of joy and wonder and brotherhood and love. The ability to take lifeless snow and build a beloved creature from nothing, building the snowman bigger and bigger with sticks and bits of this and bits of that, held together with effort and love.
Ultimately, much like Christmas and childhood, the snowman melts and disappears, but that snowman never disappears from memory, just like Christmas memories, they fade away gently, and in the case of the snowman, you can buy earrings or a Christmas card that reminds you of that feeling of peace you got in the backyard as you built yourself a jolly magical friend. The snowman is eternal now, sold nearly as much in July as he is in December, but no pendant, no ornament can replace the real thing, a gentle man built to fail but happy and spreading comfort during his brief stay on Earth, and built to last for ever in the memories eye.