Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I Have A White Christmas Wish This Year

It has been several decades since I witnessed a real White Christmas, first hand. Here in Texas it doesn’t snow as much as it once did and the last time I remember any amount of snow that stuck to the ground for more than a few hours was back in the mid 1980’s and that occurrence didn’t happen at Christmas time. Growing up in the Texas Panhandle it was much more common to see snow during late December, but even there it was most likely that snowfall would come in late January and early February. Growing up, my sister and I would listen to old Christmas classics from folks like Bing Crosby, who had the best version of the song White Christmas, ever performed. Those times were so much simpler because we were young and had not experience as many of life’s “bumps in the road” as we both have experienced to this date. Now I am much older, but this time of year I start thinking about how nice it would be to have a White Christmas at least every once in a while even here in Texas.

It is not just kids who like the snow, many of us “old farts” like it too even if we don’t tell anyone else about our secret wish. There is something special about snowfall because it causes a person’s inter-spirit to somehow come alive and it creates hope in a person’s heart that wasn’t there before the snowfall. I remember, years ago, sitting in front of an old fireplace, with the living room curtains open, and watching the logs in the fireplace burn and then I would glance outside, occasionally, to watch small snow flakes gentle fall to the ground. During my entire life, I do not remember a more peaceful feeling inside of my soul than I felt watching that fireplace burn and watching those snowflakes fall to the ground. Now it doesn’t snow much in the southern part of the US, anymore and some people blame global warming for that. However, I don’t really care who or what is to blame for the lack of snowfall, I just wish it would come back around Christmas time each year and work its magic on people with a heavy heart.

Today the skies are cloudy here in Central Texas and the weather outside is mainly dreadful with higher than normal winds and warm temperatures. Not exactly the mental picture of the Christmas season most people wish for. However, even without any snow in site, I have experience a White Christmas or two in my lifetime which cannot be said for some young folks who have lived in this area their entire life without witnessing first hand the pleasures of a Merry Christmas with snow on the ground. Today, kids must drive hundreds of miles to the north just to find any snowfall and the young people with money or access to Dad’s money tend to take trips to the mountains of New Mexico or Colorado for holiday skiing trips. While these trips to the mountains are fun and snow can be seen in every direction, the feeling that a person receives when watching a Christmas Eve snowfall, while sitting at home in front of an open fireplace, is something they will remember for their entire lives.

Over the next few days I will go into the closet and pull out some CD’s for my wife and I to listen to during the rest of this holiday season. In addition to White Christmas performed by Bing Crosby, there are other classics, which are sure to bring a smile to our faces as the birthday of Jesus Christ approaches. While watching television last night I saw a commercial for a new Christmas CD by country singer, George Strait, which I might consider adding to our collection. George has been around for a long time in country music and his original voice should bring new life to old classic Christmas songs, once again. People are always saying that Christmas time is mainly for young people, but people who really believe that statement are missing out on the true meaning of Christmas. The entire Christmas season should be a time of reflection and a chance to find good things in this world, instead of only a time where shopping and overspending cause depression in many families.

The Christmas holiday was not started just to help retailers reach their yearly financial goals. The real meaning of Christmas is one of Thanksgiving and remembrance of Jesus Christ who died so that others could have everlasting life. Nothing in the biblical references to Christmas talks about purchasing the latest toy or game in a must have family environment, but unfortunately that is exactly what has happened to the Christmas holiday over the years. If all of us would spend more time reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas, instead of on the retail and monetary aspects of the holiday, we would find ourselves a truly happier person when the New Year rolls around. Yes, I will continue to wish for a White Christmas, even though I know the chances of that happening are small. Even with a warming Earth and all the problems which face men and women in nations around the world, a White Christmas is something that all the people of the world could use right now and hopefully begin to find some peace in their hearts even if it is just for one or two days.

As time goes by, I find myself thinking back more and more to a simpler time and place where small things, like a White Christmas, were important events in a young person’s life. This time and place was filled with families singing Christmas songs in a living room with all the lights turned off and the glow of a warm fireplace proving the only light and heat on Christmas Eve night. Those days were filled with joy and peace, even though our family bank account was small and financial problems were everywhere. Thinking back over 40 years to those days, I only remember the good times and the lifelong memories which were forever recorded into my brain for easy playback over a lifetime.

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