I didn't know how important a white Christmas was until I went to the Keys right before the holidays. Don't get me wrong, the vacation was great, but there was such a weird disconnect. Like, "This isn't Christmas; it feels like summer." So despite the occasional carols on the radio and in the shops, I quite frequently forgot that it was Christmas, so much so that it feels weird that the holidays are coming around the corner. All of this reminds me how important the cold and snow is to my idea of Christmas.
Half of the story is the setting. Seeing Christmas in tropical weather is like watching a historical movie and suddenly watching the characters pull out their phones or iPods. No, it's worse. Half of Christmas is the cold weather. Maybe it's because, growing up in the cold Northeast, cold Christmases are all I know. The cold, however unpleasant, is just as important to the idea of Christmas as the Christmas tree or the presents. It's impossible to get into the Christmas spirit without it.
Adding snow to it every year is even better. It adds to the feeling even more, the general ambience of it. It doesn't always happen all of the time, but when it does, it's magical. Before I left on vacation, there was snow all over the ground. It helped me get into the spirit while I was still here and it really helped. I thought the snow would stay and this year would be a white Christmas. Alas, no. There was a heat wave and the snow melted. It looks like this year won't be a white Christmas after all.
White Christmases are the true Christmases. Recent events have showed me that. I might have taken them for granted, but I sure won't now.