Ghosts of White Christmases Past

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Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a childless adult who doesn’t live near family, or maybe it’s that I’ve never been big on grand outward displays of affection or on being the center of attention, but – and I know I’m not alone in this – the holidays aren’t really my thing. The decorating, the parties, the gift-giving, the travel… I can handle it all in small amounts, but I can never seem to feel as festive as I’m supposed to this time of year.

Here’s the thing, though: I could probably get at least a little more excited about this season – which I generally interpret as, regardless of what holiday(s) you actually celebrate, a large group effort to pull together and celebrate one another during the literal darkest days of the year – if the forecast didn’t currently look like this:

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I mean, listen. I’m not asking for the days of blizzards followed by subzero temperatures that are common to this area in the first few months of the calendar year. But 72 degrees, in December, in Ohio?

The winter solstice ought to be the deepest valley of our winter of discontent, hence the need for artificially manufactured holiday spirit. But really, these days, it’s just getting started. We hang up the lights with our coats off, and my city spends God knows how much keeping the huge outdoor ice rink frozen. Then, two months later, there are no holidays left to celebrate and you have to shovel out your car in the freezing cold with nothing to look forward to afterward. Peppermint hot chocolate just doesn’t taste the same in February.

Growing up in northern Wisconsin in the ’80s and ’90s meant a white Christmas was fairly guaranteed. Even the year I stopped believing in Santa, or the year a boyfriend broke my teenage heart in early December, I could at least look out at the marshmallow world around me and feel a bit of nostalgic childlike joy. These days, not so much. The ghosts of white Christmases past are haunting me with the glow of so many solar LED lights on gray, rainy ground.

To back up my thesis, please enjoy this solid piece of academic research, which is somehow the #3 Google result for “global warming white christmas.” God bless us, every one.

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Steph Barnard

Steph Barnard