Winter officially begins on December 21st each year...which is also the shortest day of the year. And in the southern states...who knows exactly what the weather will be like. It might be painfully cold with discussion of snow flurries...or we could be wearing flip flops with our jeans and tee shirts as we grumble through the aisles of WalMart.
There is a part of me that would love to have the Currier-and-Ives-horsedrawn-carriage-snowman-building Christmas that our northern cousins tend to have. Granted, were this to happen...we would not have electricity to light our trees, workplaces and schools would be closed, and people would be eating saltines and peanut butter instead of turkey and dressing.
I don't know what the fascination is with having a "White Christmas" or "walking in a winter wonderland"...but it is something that I've always thought would be "way cool" to do. I suppose that it is that we want to be bundled up...watch the snow fall...and drink cocoa by the fire.
I remember being in Lee High Singers in high school and singing in nursing homes during the holiday season. We would sing "Winter Wonderland," "Jingle Bells," and "It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas" (if that's the title...not sure) and we'd be singing about snow and sleighbells and sturdy trees not minding snow. As if a raging snowstorm was just around the corner in the great state of Georgia in mid-December.
I have come to realize that my view of a winter wonderland is a lawn lit up with wonderful light displays. In my hometown of Thomaston, Georgia...there was a street completely dedicated to decorating for the holidays. It was known as "Christmas Lane" each December. Seeing the lights...and putting on the air conditioning if it was necessary to get it cool enough...made it seem truly like Christmas to me.
For those of you who are looking out your window and seeing snow...I'm envious. But I think that a winter wonderland is really whatever it takes to make Christmas feel like Christmas to you...that magic combination of past, present, and hopes for the future.
Enjoy the first day of winter...we have three more months...and before it is over...we will be wishing for bright green shoots and mild days. But for now...on the beginning part of the season...with Christmas only a few days away...I'll be enjoying the lights...and hopefully the cool, crisp weather of the South. On December 26th, we can break out the flip flops and shorts again. Hey, it could happen...and quite frankly HAS.