(Ditching) Home for the Holidays
What can we learn about our culture from the Christmas cards we receive? (Besides the fact that Santa has a strange propensity for Coke in vintage bottles, I mean.) For one thing, Christmas and precipitation are inextricably bound. Think of it: In the case of every other holiday, no one craves inclement weather. But for some reason it's not Christmas unless the weather outside is frightful, Jack Frost is nipping at your nose and you're dashing through the snow in a sleigh with the top down.
It didn't have to be this way. Truth is, this year, as in most, more than half of the country has less than a 25% chance of seeing the weather conditions staring back at them from every Christmas card, according to the National Climatic Weather Center.
When it comes to a white Christmas, we can dream, but that's about it.
Nevertheless, everything from our cards to our carols to Currier and Ives is conspiring to make us feel like crap. So why not banish all these Christmas clichÃ©s from your mind? Better yet, why not travel to a place where snow is unthinkable, where scarves are traded for shorts and Christmas cheer comes with an umbrella in the glass?
"Because it won't feel like Christmas," I can hear you saying. Really? I wonder. Surely some of our well-traveled readership has tra-la-la-la-la'd in the tropics. So help a brother out. Is a winter wonderland -- or what typically passes for one in our area -- critical to the revelry? Assuming one has the cash (and the impetus of weather conditions like yesterday's), can the 25th be enjoyed as much in Florida or Hawaii or St. Thomas or Sydney? And does it still feel like Christmas? And does it matter?
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