I don’t know where you live or what you see if you look out your window, whether it’s all dazzling white out there or tropical sunshine or something in between, a hazy shade of winter perhaps, but back here in a little town in faraway Romania, it’s ridiculously sunny, the crisp and clear sunshine of fresh winter, and there is not the faintest trace of snow or at least sleet. That would be just fine I suppose, if Christmas wasn’t just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but the thought of a snowless Christmas has always made me… uncomfortable. Well-lighted tree? Check. Beautifully-wrapped gifts? Check. Holiday specialties? Check. Snow? Snow?! Sigh. Something is missing this Christmas.
When I was little, we always had snow in December. Snow that blanketed the streets, that lent the rooftops and chimneys a particular charm, that made for excellent snowball fights, that could be turned into pompous snowmen. That wasn’t such a long time ago, you know – I’m only twenty-four. But alas, during the last few years, snow has always delayed its arrival, and sometimes skipped Christmas altogether, visiting us a little in February or even March, like a much awaited guest who, by endlessly postponing his visit, has made himself unwelcome.
Perhaps the atheists are changing the weather patterns and preventing the formation of snow. Or perhaps Santa’s health is deteriorating due to his advanced age and has thoughtful wife has added a clause to his contract which makes it clear that there shouldn’t be any snow during his deliveries, to spare him from the inconveniences of icy snowflakes which, by means of melting in his beard, cause him tooth and face chills. Or perhaps climate change is to blame.
I guess I should put on more efficient light bulbs, look for new ways to, ahem, reduce my carbon footprint, and hope for the best. For snow next Christmas, that is.
This year, though, it looks like another snowless, charmless, insipid Christmas. I even hear whispers that the spirit of Christmas is dying, that atheists, technology, and modern living are killing it off, that it’s only religious graybeards and especially the shopping industry that’s keeping it alive, but come on, let’s face it, Christmas is still one of the best excuses we have to gather together with our families or those people dearest to us and pass a day or two in warm proximity, talking about all those things we didn’t have the time to talk about so far this year (what better time for gay people to come out or for serious diagnoses to be flaunted before familiar eyes?) and indulging in the consumption of large quantities of food (let’s face it, probably the most unhealthy meals we eat all year long). I could tell you about the tortures my compatriots subject pigs for the sake of the Christmas dinner, but hey, they enjoy it, so who am I to spoil their fun with my voiced sensibilities, which anyway would fall on ears deafened by roaring appetites?
Fake plastic snow.
Or foam snow, neatly bottled and easily sprayed on your windowsill and rooftop.
Or snow-making home appliances, plugg them in a just set the timer… shovel included.
Or snow delivery companies, providing lab-made snow as part of an all-inclusive, free shipping, fast delivery, easy distribution service.
Is that the future of Christmas?
I would shudder, I really would, but it’s just not cold enough for a proper shudder.
Any snow on your windowsill, dear reader? Say yes, and even it’s just a little, you will comfort me.