Monday, December 7, 2009
Sometimes you're the Grinch and sometimes you're the dog with the strap-on antlers.
The first year I spent a snow free December- ( having hauled my butt cross-country on a 2 week wild road trip from Central New York to San Diego ), I thought I'd never ever get used to seeing Christmas lights on palm trees, carols playing in convertibles, the sale of spray on snow next to suntan lotion in the drugstore.
But I did. And that first Christmas, when I sat in my bathing suit sipping Margaritas with my apartment house neighbors in the hot tub, and placed a very smug call home to NY, I knew this was exactly what I had been born to do.
After all, if I wanted snow, I only had to drive north or hop on a plane. This was me controlling my weather, for the first time in 23 years. Me, enjoying a cloudless sky with no bugs, no humidity, no wool outer garments, no long underwear, no electric blankets, no $300 heating bill.
I could relax knowing I wouldn't dent my car this year, I wouldn't be sliding into a snow bank on the way to a Christmas party. There would no longer be the late night icy doughnut spins in the parking lot after the retail stores closed, ( ok, I do miss that) but no longer would I have to rise twenty minutes early to "warm up" a car, scrape ice off a windshield or strap chains to my tires.
It would also be the first of many snow free holidays where I would no longer have the sweater/parka/ layered clothing excuse to pack on the winter weight. After all , this was San Diego. The place of the pretty people, perfect weather and beaches, beaches, beaches.
God, I miss it.
The South is gives me a bit of the West Coast joy. Milder winters, the change of the seasons, enough cold to pretend it's winter and sometimes--sometimes. Snow.
It sounds trite to say, the spirit of the holiday is in my heart, not in my yard. But it's true. We should all feel that way. It's not dependent upon white fluffy stuff, or the need for a scarf and gloves, but it certainly helps feel the Christmas joy when you're wrapping gifts by a roaring fire and the icicle lights hang from a white dusted roof, even if Jesus was born in a desert, nowhere near December 25th.