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Why I'm Not Dreaming of a White Christmas

Photograph by Twenty20

With apologies to Bing Crosby, I am not hoping for any snow this Christmas.

I grew up in Las Vegas, where snow is very rare, and now I live in Arizona where it's even more rare. So my whole childhood was one not-white Christmas after another.

Now that I've experienced a few years of real winter with snow that shut down schools for days at a time, made driving a nightmare and sent people scurrying to the store to load up on bread and milk every few weeks before the next storm blew in, I'm delighted to be back in the land of no snow.

That sparkling and pristine snow first thing in the morning is gorgeous, I'll give you that, but the minute you have to leave your house, everything falls apart.

Here are five reasons I'm more than happy that my Christmas won't involve any snow:

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1. If you get an outdoor toy for Christmas, you can actually use it.

Is there anything sadder than getting a brand-new bike on Christmas morning and not being able to use it? (Well, yes. World hunger, poverty, kidnapping, war. But waiting to play with a toy can feel pretty sad when you're a kid). If you get a new trampoline, a bike or a pair of rollerblades, you can race right outside and put them to use. I have fond memories of one Christmas where my sister and I got matching rollerblades and spent all of Christmas afternoon zipping up and down our street. Hard to do if your street is covered in ice and snow!

2. Outdoor holiday events are a lot more fun when you aren't worried about frost bite.

For a season that's generally bitter cold, there are a lot of activities that are outdoors! Going to look at lights, caroling and decorating the house are way more fun when you don't have to wear 47 layers (or, even worse, when you have to bundle your small child up with 47 layers).

3. No snowblowing, no shoveling sidewalks, no scraping windows!

It's pretty much my idea of heaven.

As a kid, this didn't mean a lot to me, but after a few years as an adult living in cold climates, I can tell you, it is so nice to get in your car on a January morning and drive off without having to scrape a path on the driveway. It's pretty much my idea of heaven.

4. It's still cool enough to wear a jacket and enjoy a mug of hot chocolate.

The nice thing about Arizona is that it still gets cool in the winter. You can wear a jacket or coat and you can absolutely justify a warm cup of cocoa, but there's no fear of frostbite. I like my scarves to be mainly decorative, not required to provide actual protection from the elements.

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5. No driving in snow.

I know that driving is always something of a risky proposition, but when you add snow and ice, things get much, much hairier. I'm glad all the streets I take to school, doctor's appointments and the grocery store are clear and dry (of course, on the very rare occasion when it DOES snow, a warm city shuts down because they are totally unprepared to deal with even a half-inch of snow. And then all the cold weather states mock us incessantly. So be it).

Now what I'm really wondering is whether my children will grow up and also attempt to stay in warm climates or if they'll feel that their childhood was missing that something special during the winter. If they're anything like me, they won't be dreaming of a white Christmas.

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