The Christmas trees are up and decorated, the houses and trees are lit up nightly, and the stockings have been hung by the fireplace with care. The malls are jammed with stressed out shoppers, the lucky few have already bought and wrapped their gifts, and the college football bowl season is underway. Yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like…spring time?
Here in the Northeast, it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s the end of December this year. It actually feels more like spring than winter. Daytime temperatures have been in the high-40’s to mid-50’s, instead of the 30’s. It’s even gotten up to 60 degrees around here! For those that use the Celsius scale, that would be temperatures in the 7 – 15 range. In December! While it has gotten cold a few days, I’ve worn my winter jacket only about 5 times this year. And instead of snow on the ground, the grass is still green. It looks like we’re not going to have a white Christmas this year.
As an adult getting along in years, this really doesn’t bother me. I don’t need to drag out the snow blower or shovel the driveway to be able to go somewhere. I don’t even need to scrape frost off the car windows on the majority of mornings. I don’t need to bundle up to just get the mail from the mailbox and I don’t shiver through the first 10 minutes of my daily commute to and from work. If this is the result of global warming, then bring it on because I could get used to winters like this.
As a kid, however, I would have been going out of my mind, maybe even devastated. Winter break from school would be coming up and there’d be nothing to look forward to. There would be no way we’d be playing ice hockey at the pond from early morning to the time darkness made it impossible to see the black puck any longer. The only pause in the games would be enough time to go home and eat some lunch and slightly thaw out the feet and hands. If it wasn’t cold enough to freeze the ponds, there would be no way we’d be spending most of the day sledding down the big hill in the back of my house, punctuated by a hot chocolate break and finishing up warming next to a roaring fire, because there wouldn’t be any snow.
Sure, we would have found stuff to do. We would have probably played street hockey for a few hours, perhaps switched over to football since the grass wouldn’t have been rock hard, and maybe even rode our bikes somewhere since it wouldn’t have been so cold. But it wouldn’t have been the same. Winter break from school was meant to be spent freezing our little behinds off, doing stuff in the snow or on the ice – and we liked it that way! I don’t remember any of us even hinting that it was too cold to go outside during our time off from school in December.
I have no shame in saying that I’m enjoying the holiday season so far. I don’t need a pile of snow and below zero temperatures to feel the joy of the season, and I certainly don’t need to get numb by running out to the mailbox to know that Santa is on his way. This year, I’m dreaming of a green Christmas. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!