To be really basic - Skiing and Snowboarding is a snow activity in which you attach skis (or snowboard) to boots on your feet and use them to travel on top of the snow. You take a "Chair Lift" up the ski hill or mountain and then "ski" or "ride" down the snow-covered slopes to the bottom.
A Chair Lift is what you load onto (sit on) at the bottom of the mountain to be tranported to the top.
As a First-Time skier or snowboarder, you need to book a "Beginner Ski or Snowboard Package" which includes equipment rentals, a lift ticket for access to the chair lifts on the easy ski slopes and a 2.5 hour lesson. When Booking your trip, select the "Bus, Lift Ticket & Beginner Package" option that is best for you.
Items you will need to bring that cannot be rented:
Ski/Snowboard Clothing - Pants, Jacket, gloves, goggles, gear bags
Items that generally can be purchased at the resorts retail shops:
Most Ski/Snowboard clothing including - Pants, Jacket, Gloves, Goggles, Gear Bags
Chapstick, sunscreen, shirts, socks, thermals, locks, wax, tools and other goodies
Best rates - Sierra at Tahoe, Sugarbowl
Best views - Heavenly, Squaw Valley (all resorts offer a beautiful scenic view of their own kind. These suggestions are based on views of Lake Tahoe)
Best mountain feeling/experience - Northstar, Squaw Valley, Heavenly (all though most resorts have an awesome experience, these suggested resorts offer the mountain village atmosphere)