Friday, December 12, 2008

White Christmas

Let me say from the outset that I am not a Scrooge, or a Grinch. I like Christmas. At my office, in fact, I start playing Christmas music earlier than anyone else I know… usually September, occasionally even August.

But there is one traditional Holiday wish with which I disagree. (Try saying that three times real fast: “wish with which, wish with which, wish with which”!)

While the entire rest of the universe appears to be hoping in unison for a “White Christmas”… my preference is, as it always has been, a balmy, sunshiny, warm Palmetto State December day in the 70’s.

This was all brought painfully to my attention last weekend – Thanksgiving weekend to be exact – when we had a couple of days of cold, dreary, rainy almost winter weather… probably made drearier by my favorite team’s drubbing at the hands of arch-rival Clemson (which I am spelling correctly today out of respect for their victory).

Anywho, the cold wet weather during the first serious weekend of the Christmas shopping season made we stop and wonder what to expect weatherwise for the rest of the season, and I got to guessing whether we’ll have a White Christmas this year.

I guesses “No”… and I hope I’m right.

I’ve never actually seen a White Christmas, and probably never will. It’s one of those things like a total eclipse or Haley’s Comet. They only happen every so often, and even then, you have to be at the right place at the right time to see it.

Maybe in parts of Canada, Alaska, and Wisconsin it’s a regular occurrence. But I’ve never been any of those places on Christmas Day, and don’t expect I ever will be.

Growing up in the sunny south, I’m used to a different regular occurrence in December: wearing Bermuda shorts and flip-flops! And if it’s a truly special Christmas, I might even need to add sunglasses to keep the bright sun out of my eyes!!!

I know this puts me at odds with the rest of the world, but I’d rather have a Bright Christmas than a White Christmas!!!

Stop and think for a minute. Ask yourself this question: It’s the busiest travel day of the year, so what can we do to improve the holiday travelling experience? I know!!! Let’s cover all the roads and airports with a foot of snow!!! That’s a great idea!

Even as a kid, I was never in favor of a White Christmas. We didn’t get many snow days, and I didn’t want to use one up on a day when we were already out of school.

As a kid, a snow day was that rarest of special occasions when I could skip school without pretending to be sick! AND… unlike those “fake sick” days, it was perfectly okay to go out and play all day long!

Of course, snow days in the South were a lot different than snow days in the North. First of all, most of the time, it wasn’t really snow, but instead, was snow’s evil twin – “ice”.

And either way, we weren’t equipped for it. We didn’t have the right mittens and boots. Instead, I wore socks on my hands, which kept them warm for about three minutes, and sopping, soaking cold and wet for the rest of the hour until I went back in the house to change “mittens”.

In the South, we also never had the primary piece of snow-recreation equipment: a sled! So we improvised. My favorite improvisation was an old automobile hood turned upside down… which allowed about eleven kids to take a ride down a nice steep hill.

I also tried cross-country skiing once with a pair of waterskis instead of snowskis and a pair of old crutches instead of ski poles.

Yes, snow days are designed for interrupting the education of our children, not for disrupting my favorite holiday.

So let me go on record: I’m NOT dreaming of a White Christmas.

I like the song (although I sing it without the deep, heartfelt meaning that others give it.) I even tolerate the movie. (Though clearly, it’s a second tier holiday movie, not on the same level as Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life… or even, in my opinion, Christmas Vacation, Elf, or Scrooged.)

But let’s save the actual snowfall for a more convenient time when there’s not so much going on. For no particular reason, I’m voting for January 15th.

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