Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas without Snow


I've been thinking about Christmas. 

As I have been enjoying the non-stop onslaught of sappy Christmas music, I have noticed a definite connection between snow and the songs of the season. Recognizing that the date for Christmas was set by the church, some people have postulated that the date was chosen to coincide with a Roman mid-Winter holiday. 

I found an article which postulates that the date may have been set differently and that the confluence of the dates is a happy coincidence. 

In a National Geographic article about the Winter Solstice, it is postulated, 

For more than 2 billion Christians the solstice has long been overshadowed by Christmas. But to historian David Gwynn of the University of London, the proximity of the two events may not be an accident.

One theory holds that Christmas was set on December 25 to replace a Roman holiday, which had roots in a pagan cult of Sol Invictus (the unconquered sun), says Gwynn. A second theory surmises that early Christians arrived at December 25 by counting forwards nine months from March 25, the traditional date set for the Annunciation to Mary.

"It is also true that these explanations are not necessarily mutually exclusive,” says Gwynn.

Ayers Rock, Australia
Clearly, the December date is associated with winter and darkness--but south of the equator, it is summer! Do they sing summer Christmas songs in Australia and Chile, South Africa, and Argentina?


Perhaps they do--I have found a rendition of Jingle Bells adapted for Australia! Yup--adapted. It made me roll on the floor laughing.

Koala Santa
Check these out, and go to the website to translate some of the uniquely Aussie terms:

Lyrics: Aussie Jingle Bells

Dashing through the bush
In a rusty Holden Ute
Kicking up the dust
Esky in the boot
Kelpie by my side
Singing Christmas songs
It’s summer time and I am in
My singlet, shorts & thongs
OH, JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLS
JINGLE ALL THE WAY
CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA
ON A SCORCHING SUMMER’S DAY
JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLS
CHRISTMAS TIME IS BEAUT
OH WHAT FUN IT IS TO RIDE
IN A RUSTY HOLDEN UTE
Engine’s getting hot
Dodge the kangaroos
Swaggy climbs aboard
He is welcome too
All the family is there
Sitting by the pool
Christmas day, the Aussie way
By the barbecue!
OH, JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLS
JINGLE ALL THE WAY
CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA
ON A SCORCHING SUMMER’S DAY
JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLS
CHRISTMAS TIME IS BEAUT
OH WHAT FUN IT IS TO RIDE
IN A RUSTY HOLDEN UTE
Come the afternoon
Grandpa has a doze
The kids and uncle Bruce
Are swimming in their clothes
The time comes round to go
We take a family snap
Then pack the car and all shoot through
Before the washing up


Santa on the Beach
OH, JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLS
JINGLE ALL THE WAY
CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA
ON A SCORCHING SUMMER’S DAY
JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLS
CHRISTMAS TIME IS BEAUT
OH WHAT FUN IT IS TO RIDE
IN A RUSTY HOLDEN UTE
Christmas does not have to be a snow event! And this year, right here in Maryland, it is going to be 74 balmy degrees.

So while some people are lamenting the lack of snow and frigid temperatures, I am relishing the warmth and wishing I was on a sandy beach somewhere.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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