A snowball or two...

'Snowball Fight', Flemish ca. 1510

The solemn yet harried preparation for a holiday feast is usually 
the image accompanying the December calendar in a Book of Hours. 
The image displayed here is a rare and delightful departure from convention. 
Through color the artist has beautifully captured the chill of a winter day, and 
he skillfully conveys the excitement of a snowball fight. All is not play, 
however, for in the distant background, work still goes on. But for 
a wonderful moment, the world is a playground. 

Italian illumination, 1400-07
A detail from January or Aquarius with Courtiers
 in Snowball Fight Outside Stenico Castle