Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

The Shaka Santa display at the Honolulu City Hall

Let me start by saying that I'm not Christian. I'm Jewish. I don't celebrate Christmas, and until I married a man who is (nominally) Anglican -- though he claims to be a Jew by virtue of being married to me -- I never had a Christmas tree or any of the other trappings of Christmas. When I was growing up, Christmas was a day to go out for Chinese food and go to the movies, or do something cool like go into DC when there was no traffic and everyone else was home celebrating and walk around the empty monuments and memorials on the Mall.

Don't get me wrong. I think Christmas lights and Christmas trees are lovely, and when I lived in Atlanta, I had my own Christmas tradition of eating Christmas dinner with Kathleen and her family, but in my own house, I lit my Hannukah menorah and said my Hannukah blessings.

Let me also say that I'm not trying to piss anybody off with this post. I know that many of my readers on the mainland are freezing their bollocks off in unbelievably shitty weather, and I'm not trying to rub it in when I say that Christmas in the tropics just doesn't feel right.

It doesn't feel like Christmas. Even though it's not my holiday, I always liked driving through my old neighborhood and seeing all of the pretty lights up on the trees and bushes, knowing that everyone was snuggling up with sweaters and cups of cocoa by the living room fire.* The Christmas season felt distinct because of the change in the seasons and the discernible onset of winter, even in Atlanta's relatively temperate climate.

In my neighborhood here, you see some half-hearted attempts to put up lights on the front of the garage or around a palm tree or two, but it doesn't work for me. The big blow-up snowman on my neighbor's roof just looks weird when it's 83 degrees out. And because it's pretty much always 83 degrees out, nothing about this time of year feels any different from any other time of year.

So in addition to all of the other positive things about moving to Colorado, it'll be nice to be able to experience the Christmas season and have it feel like Christmas. I'm finding it odd that I feel this way, but there it is.
*Of course, being Australian, Jason has never experienced a white/cold Christmas (our first Christmas in Atlanta after getting married he went home to visit relatives), so this feels very normal to him.


  1. You might change your mind after snowblowing a few times with it being 20 degrees out. Took Emma to school the other and it was 17.

  2. I know, I know. As I said, I fully realize that the mainlanders (and you in particular) are dealing with horrid conditions. And I'm sure when I'm freezing my ass off and trying to fit snow tires on the car, I'll look back on this time with longing.

  3. I get what you're saying. When we first moved to Georgia from Chicago, having somewhat mild weather during the holidays felt a little odd. But since we do have the change of seasons and some years we do have wintery weather, it still seems like the holidays in ways I'm sure it doesn't there in Hawaii.

    Soon, right?

  4. I'm with you, sister. It's going to be 70 here tomorrow. When I say this to my friends in Chicago/Kansas City/Boston/Detroit etc. etc. they tell me I have it made. But, I'd trade with them in a second because it's hard to have the Christmas spirit when you're feeling a little glowy despite wearing short sleeves, and your hair is frizzy!

  5. Ah, me, I love warm Christmases. When my parents lived in Peru I loved being able to bail out of DC and head down to Lima where it was summer and sunny for Christmas. We went running yesterday in 50 degree weather (it got back to cold last night). That said, you like what you like, and I just know you will be reveling in the snow next year. Hugs to all of you.

  6. Anonymous5:09 PM

    It was darn near 80 degrees in Savannah on Christmas day.

    I saw on the news that it was -2 in Minot, ND where I lived a couple of years ago when I was in the military.

    I'll take 80 over -2 any day & twice on Sunday!