It's time to start the yearly vigil, not for Santa, but for the even more elusive "White Christmas". With apologies to Bing, Rosemary, Danny and Vera-Ellen, it's not the 1954 Classic that we seek (I think that the tape is in a box upstairs, with all of the other seasonal classics), but the blanket of white, frozen, precipitation in the air or on the ground on the 25th of December.
Why this fascination with specifically timed precipitation? Though the movie became part of my (and certainly many others') fiber, drawing on the giddy nostalgia for the celebrated peacetime years just after World War II, it only told the story of the precariously fickle winter entertainment industry in New England (which now isn't so much a problem since the inception of "man-made" snow).
The commercial "Christmas Season" (starting just prior to Halloween and ending around 11 pm on December 24 (unless the after-holiday sales and return days are counted as part of the "festivities"!)) with all of the accompanying propaganda of music and story certainly has stamped us with expectations of a sort, but can that be the only driving force for our hopes and wishes? After all, many of us, southerners to be sure, might be expecting quite a bit.
Here we are at the end of a year, a year in which we probably have been chastized, forgotten, ignored and generally stymied. Living isn't a neat and organized occupation, many times it's downright dirty and disappointing. Dreams are regularly dashed, dreams can become hopeless pursuits. In the midst of this year-end gloom, we are offered a promise, a promise of renewal, which our wounded psyches accept with open arms and prayerful hearts, this tangible representation of the Promise of renewal in this perfect, white, winter blanket, a blanket that covers our doubts, that changes our perspective.
Remember the real Blanket, the real Cleansing Coat we pray for, but if you are caught humming strain's from Mr. Berlin's classic, I think it will be okay.
It goes, "I'm dreaming of a...".
Love to all.
Updated: 4:29 AM GMT on December 20, 2006
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