We’re writing this on December 21. That’s the first day of winter. In fact, according to the weather people here it was sometime a bit after 12:30pm that the earth was at its absolute farthest from the sun making that day the shortest, the darkest, and the least absorbing of the sun’s warmth. It’s going to be 61 degrees today.
Sixty-one degrees might be an ok temperature for Florida for the first day of winter but we’re north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Our average temperature for this date is 30 degrees. Three days ago when it was still fall it was 18 degrees during the day, 10 or so at night. There was also snow. Lots of snow covering every non-driving surface around. (What can we say? We have some decent road crews.) Today there is only rain and it has melted all of the snow.
The day before the first day of winter the weather people were predicting highs in the 40’s for Christmas Eve and Christmas. Not nearly cold enough to make for a white Christmas. And that’s exactly how all of them led off their reports. “They’ll be no white Christmas this year,” they all said. One could almost hear the collective wails of every child in the greater metropolitan area. How will Santa get their booty to them?
Then on the first day of winter, the one with a predicted high in the 60’s, the one on which the local weather people had less than 12 hours earlier declared no white Christmas, the local forecasts now called for temps in the 20’s on Christmas Eve including the possibility of snow and perhaps accumulated snow for Christmas morning. We think it’s a conspiracy. Somebody from the North Pole got to those weather people and made them change their forecast. So what if they turn out wrong. They usually do!
Actually, what we really think is, does it really matter. Will the children find the holiday less holiday-ish without snow? The parents will appreciate being able to drive to church and then to Granma’s on snow-free roads even if their town doesn’t have a crack road crew. And the road crews will get to enjoy the holiday too. Speaking of church, even though there was some snow there a few weeks ago, snow isn’t the norm in Bethlehem. If those on the first Christmas were able to do without the white stuff, we can manage also.
Christmas isn’t about how white it can be, how many presents are under the tree, or how many new cookies were thought up for the year. It’s a time to be with family and with cherished friends and companions. It’s a time to unwrap one of the best gifts of all, love. And it’s a time to wish a very special One happy birthday. Snow or no.
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?