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Christmas wrapped in green for me….

December 24th, 2003 · No Comments

On the radio I’m hearing that there is a chance of snow tonight. One station said that it was the elevations above 500 to 1000 feet that might see some white around Christmas. Since every point on this entire island is below 500 feet, I guess that means we probably won’t see any snow. It’ll be a green Christmas for us almost for sure.

You can almost bet on a green Christmas here in the Northwest. I can remember maybe only one or two holidays where we woke to some snow on the ground outside.

And hearing “White Christmas” and other songs about snow on the radio, seeing Christmas TV characters play on snow and ice, gave me a bit of grief as a kid. I felt cheated a bit that we rarely had a white Christmas here.

I think in different ways we Northwesterners learn to deal with the lack of white stuff. When I was a teenager, the song “Christmas in the Northwest” came out. I remember it was part of a benefit to raise money for charity. And indeed I found a website and history for Christmas in the Northwest on the web.

The lyrics contain the line “Christmas in the Northwest is a gift God wrapped in green…” Nice try. I mean why couldn’t God use some white wrapping paper?! Why couldn’t we have some snow on Christmas? Wasn’t that the way the holiday was meant to be? I’m sure Santa thought it was strange, this wet green place.

Ah, then I got my wish. I lived out East for seven years, during college and early years of marriage. And I soon realized that snow, unlike in Seattle, didn’t mean staying home and celebrating. We kids would always rejoice when the white stuff came; the least bit of ice or snow would make the hills too dangerous and we’d need to stay home to be safe. Snow meant shut down.

No, snow in Rhode Island only meant getting up earlier to shovel the driveway. Or sometimes even walking to work through the icy white. Snow lost its appeal to me after those years of shoveling in the dawn and manuvering the car around on the road. Got my overdose of the stuff.

And after moving back, I’ve learned to appreciate my native Northwest more. I enjoy all the conifers and forest. Green is pretty. Even for Christmas.

Now though I’ve got my own children. Three little girls. And I know they’d love to see some snow on Christmas or anytime. So far I don’t think they’ve realized the white Christmas cliche. I don’t play too much Bing Crosby around here, only on the radio.

But Abigail’s been asking when it’s going to snow. It probably takes a bit more for it to become cold and icy white here on the island, so close to sea level, warmed by water. A couple years ago I remember it snowed twice. Even enough to make a snowman. But I don’t think we’ve seen anything since.

Maybe oh maybe God will choose some special wrapping paper tonight, even for those of us on the islands. That would be fun. I can hope….and be grateful for the green too…..

Tags: christmas