Dreaming of a Grey Christmas


The sun isn’t shining, the grass is brown, the heavens are bleak and grey. It’s lovely, I really must say—Christmas weather, the Anytown way.

Anytown is notorious for its unseasonal weather. Winter is normally more like early spring for the rest of the world: bleak, grey, and rainy. Autumn is more like a New England summer. Spring feels like summer in Texas. Summer is like the sunny side of Mars.

Needless to say, we rarely get snow here.

Two Christmases ago, we experienced the first white Christmas we’ve had in years. The following two winters have been unseasonably warm, with not so much as a single flake falling last winter. Not one.

The transplanted northerners who live in the area consider this one of Anytown’s finest features. They tell horror stories of shoveling snow in the wee hours of the morning and slogging through slush until early March, and other such northerly adventures incomprehensible to the Southern mind.

Honestly, most of us would love to live somewhere where snow is a regular occurrence. Especially those of us in the younger set. We grew up reading beautiful picture books with illustrations of children frolicking through the drifts, building massive snowmen and holding little snow wars with friends. Children in these stories play in the snow as if God had sent them a Christmas gift in the form of weather. You can’t play with rain, wind, or sunshine—and playing with hail is a health hazard. But you can play with snow.

When I was growing up, my mother and I would watch the weather reports from January until March, waiting for our one snow day. That’s right. Anytown would get one snow day every year, and usually only a couple of inches at that. But since Anytown is so ill-equipped to deal with the rare snowstorms that we get, town would shut down for the day and the whole family could stay at home. I would go out in the snow, get all tired and wet and frozen, but I would run back indoors for dry gloves and socks before plunging into the icy whiteness again to play for another hour or so. After a long day of this kind of activity, I would wrap myself in a blanket in front of the fireplace, book in hand, and try not to think about the fact that I’d have to go to school tomorrow, since the snow would have inevitably melted from the roads by then.

Now that I’m twenty, there is hardly any snow. And when we do get snow, I find I don’t have the energy to brave the drifts alone. One-sided snowball fights aren’t particularly fun. But snow is lovely, and it puts the world under a hush as though someone tucked the neighborhood up in a big, white blanket and told it that it was time for a nap.

Today is cold, rainy, and dreary—which is about as festive as the weather gets around here. This weather is beautiful, and I am grateful for it. But the child in my wants snow for Christmas almost more than anything else.

Sadly, a snowstorm is pretty much the only thing you can’t buy at Wal-Mart.


One response »

  1. What fun we had in those days! Remember your lovely sled? I think it’s stillhangingon the wall in the garage. Remember that Christmas we walked down to the Pastor’s house because he has that great hill? But our front yard was no slouch. When you were a toddler, Dadster and I walked you around the block (remember that 2 mile walk around the “block”?) in the snow–pushing you in your stroller! 🙂 We all love the snow…. let’s start praying for some!

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