A Tribute to White Christmases

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Winter weather bugs me, but I love a white Christmas. I was born in the north woods of Wisconsin where Christmas is always white, so I guess I come by that naturally.

On the other hand, Wisconsin winters are indecently cold, and that’s the part that bugs me. I pack on sweaters somewhere around Labor Day and huddle by the fireplace until the daffodils are in bloom.

It wasn’t until we moved to southern Missouri that I saw kids play basketball and go roller skating on Christmas day rather than play hockey or go cross-country skiing.

We’ve had white Christmases in Indiana, too, and this year was no exception. Admittedly, most of the heavy snow fell the day after Christmas, but that still left plenty of room for making snowmen and digging the trusty old sled out of the garage.

When I was in grade school, the schoolyard had more kids in it during Christmas vacation than during school days. That was because the schoolyard was a long, gentle slope that was perfect for belly-flop sledding.

Two Christmases stand out in my memory. In 1978, I was living on a farm in Minnesota and it had been snowing pretty much non-stop since Thanksgiving.

The wind started howling the day before Christmas, and by morning the roads were blocked with drifted snow 10-feet deep. Nobody went anywhere until the county plowed us out three days later.

The other memorable Christmas was 1965 when I was living just north of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The Christmas Eve temperature plummeted below 70 degrees for the first time in weeks and everyone piled into jackets to keep warm. I remember sitting out on our lanai looking at the beach and thinking that if I squinted hard enough the white sand looked just like snow.

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