Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Warm temperatures and another international Christmas Eve
Having grown up in the South, I am not unaccustomed to varying types of weather at Christmas. I can remember Christmases as a child when temperatures hovered around 80 degrees and I wore shorts, and I can remember some, although not many, when there was snow and ice.
During the 18 years I have lived in the Nashville area, which is a bit farther north than south and central Arkansas, where I lived previously, it has, more times than not, been fairly cold at Christmas. I can remember there being snow and/or ice on the ground maybe two or three times.
We almost always attend an 11 p.m. Christmas Eve service which ends at midnight, when Christmas Day officially begins. I remember one year we walked out and it had begun snowing, It was magical.
We associate Christmas with cold weather and many of the traditional Christmas songs don't even mention Christmas -- the lyrics are about snow, sleigh rides and getting in out of the cold.
Welcome to Christmas 2015 in Middle Tennessee. It's a balmy 66 degrees outside and we're expecting thunderstorms later today. The forecast is 73 for Christmas Eve, 72 Christmas Day and 75 the day after! So any thoughts of a White Christmas are only in our dreams, for sure.
I understand it's similar for much of the Southeast and even the Northeast will experience higher than normal temps over the holiday weekend. Apparently it's all due to some Atlantic high pressure system.
It's doubtful we'll be roasting any chestnuts over an open fire, unless we just want to crank up the AC and force the ambiance.
If you have read this blog over the years, you know that our family celebrates Christmas Eve with an international theme. Each year we pick a different country or region and we decorate, dress and eat according to the traditions of the area we have chosen.
It all started when Wife, years ago, said she would like to prepare something different on Christmas Eve and told us she was going to prepare Mexican food. To add atmosphere, we strung up red pepper lights in the dining room and played a recording of "Feliz Navidad" over and over.
It was so much fun that a new tradition was birthed and since that time we have celebrated Italian, Greek, Asian, French, Caribbean and German Christmas Eves. The dress, decorations and food have gotten a bit more elaborate and it has become a highlight of the Christmas season for us.
This year is England, mate, and a meal of beef wellington, Yorkshire pudding and other yummy dishes are planned. I've spied a few British relics here and there that I'm sure Wife is planning to use to add atmosphere. We are also having "afternoon tea" which will morph into "evening pub."
It will be another grand time.
Older Son and DIL, and Daughter and SIL will be with the in-law families Christmas Day. Wife, Younger Son and I plan a non-traditional day of seeing a movie, bowling and dinner out.
We'll have a postponed Christmas Day celebration on the 26th.
Wherever you are, and whether you are warm or cool this Christmas -- and it really shouldn't matter, should it? -- I hope it's a very joyful one for you and your family, and I hope 2016 brings many blessings.