Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I'm dreaming of a green Christmas

I lived for several years in the southern hemisphere where Christmas and my January birthday fell during the school summer vacation. Most of my family will be celebrating Christmas in a warm climate and some may even spend a few days at a beach. I would venture to say that more people in the world experience a green (or brown) Christmas rather than a white Christmas. Many Christmas and Yule traditions are based on ancient celebrations of the Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice. Yet half the earth will be experiencing a summer solstice at the end of December.
For the past couple of weeks, we have enjoyed the “October” weather we missed earlier and temperatures have been unseasonably warm. At this time last year, the local ski club was in full operation and remained open every day until the end of March. I have read a number of comments on blogs today indicating that some people need cold weather to get motivated to prepare for Christmas.
In the above photo, I am in Durban, South Africa posing with a doll I received for Christmas. Mom sewed the doll an entire wardrobe which came packed in a small brown suitcase. We had a couple of palm branches in a pot that we decorated with homemade ornaments.
We have been in Mexico with family for Christmas as well. This country has wonderful Christmas traditions and celebrations, with beautiful nacimientos, musical posadas and the celebration of El Dia De Reyes, Three Kings Day on January 6th. On the night of January 5, the figurines of the Three Wise Men are added to the nativity scene. Before going to bed the children place their old shoes under their bed or in the living room, where the Wise Men will leave them their presents.
I love the vibrant colours of tropical flowers. My mother’s garden had a beautiful poinsettia hedge and the effect of the bright blooms against the brick walls was very festive.
I am not sentimental regarding ice and snow or cold temperatures for the holiday season. If I had a choice, I would take warmth for nine years, and snow one year for a little variety. How about you?

6 comments:

  1. White Christmas means snow to drive through as "to Grandmother's house we go", so I really don't mind a brown or green Christmas.
    I've neve traveled during the holidays, but it would be neat to celebrate Christmas under palm trees.

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  2. I love the picture of you and your doll. Sure, I know that the weather shouldn't have anything to do with celebrating the season and it really doesn't. There is just something about seeing your breath outdoors, feeling your fingertips go numb, and running inside to enjoy some hot chocolate with kahlua, peppermint schnapps and a candy cane in your mug! Nice Post!

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  3. I love your post, although it made me realize that I've become a 'snow-bird'. I'm already looking forward to returning to AZ. I have lots of wonderful memories of Christmas in Canada and I truly love Canada, but not the cold weather.

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  4. Susan- I do hope you get a white Christmas. In the north it is preferable to a brown, muddy one.

    Mary- Thanks. I remember the Christmas of the doll so well. It is not the weather, but the family memories that make the celebration special. Cold weather does stimulate the appetite, doesn't it!

    Oma- I agree. Our winters in Ontario are so damp as well as cold. Dry air, especially with AZ warmth is preferable for me too.

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  5. Somehow I'm a day behind here, but want to say I enjoyed reading about the different places you've spent Christmas. I'd imagine it must give you an interesting perspective on the craziness that overtakes so many this time of year.

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  6. Thanks Laura, I would like to experience Christmas in a few more different places if I could.

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