What does a smattering of snowflakes in the air mean to you? A vivid nostalgia for the festive season you used to know? Or perhaps the nightmare of every commuter? It’s very easy and incredibly optimistic to dream of a White Christmas, but a thick layer of snow flies in the face of order, as if this festive season wasn’t stressful enough. Let even a few snowflakes fall in this country and everything falls into chaos; schools close, work is called off and any form of travel is deemed impossible (unless undertaken in wellies and at a snail’s pace.
Maybe people just really want a day off. I remember being thrilled as a teenager if I woke up to see my garden blanketed by snow, and my school’s website was adorned with a “closed due to weather” warning covering every corner. For me, that roughly translated to “hey, take a day off to build a snowman, have a snowball fight with your sister and go sledging down East Court, because snowfall trumps education.” But for many of us, our first reaction is not awe at the glistening blizzard before us, but dismay at picturing the inevitable delays.
Is that a little bit sad, or just realistic? I reckon it’s both. If I’m honest myself, I would detest a White Christmas. On the big day itself, my family makes the pilgrimage to my aunt’s for Christmas dinner in a neighbouring village. It’s no more than 15 minutes in normal weather, but traversing up and over hills with a thick layer of snow in our way would prove impossible. Then you have the crowds who hastily travel home on Christmas Eve, wringing their hands at the sight of train delays or accidents on the motorway; a White Christmas just isn’t practical in 2015.
Maybe a White Boxing Day would be more practical, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it. Of course, everyone wants a picture perfect scene at Christmas, like the ones you see on the big screen. But when you see their faces mesmerized as dots of artificial white blobs descend on their set, you don’t hear their panicked thoughts of how on earth will they reach Great Auntie May to indulge in her brussel sprouts?Real life may not be as scenic, but if you put the effort in it can be just as memorable. I’m happy just imagining a White Christmas, because I think reality just wouldn’t be as joyful, no matter how pretty a Winter Wonderland scene is.