While the Christmas holiday season is only hitting its stride, Christmas Day and all its appropriate pomp and ceremony is over. I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but having experienced yet another “Christmas Day” in Miami, I am still not convinced, the calender, ‘Church bells a ringing’ and Christmas red Heat t-shirts aside, that yesterday was in fact Christmas. Let me explain.
I grew up in New Hampshire. New Hampshire is a mightily cold, nature usually trumps man place to be in winter. Particularly during the latter stages of December. There is a not so hyperbolic joke that during the winter season, if one spit from the third floor balcony, it would turn from a liquid to a solid before it hit the ground. A less funny reality is that in the days of Levis 501 button fly jeans, any guy who accidentally left his fly unbuttoned paid a rather unflattering price. The houses, for functional reasons, actually have chimneys and believe me, Santa would probably prefer the front door given how coated with soot some of them are. There were snowball fights, pine, oak and maple trees laced with snow, sledders and outdoor ice skaters, galore and the sense that lighting a warm Christmas fire was in fact a saving grace.
Clearly nostalgia is setting in, but up North, no matter where a person was, the Christmas spirit was in the air.
I do need to press the “be careful what you pray for” alert button. Because a little over 11 years ago, I moved to Miami to escape the psychological and physiological downsides of cold weather. I actually think the fact that Miami days such as yesterday, all 77 degrees of tropical seduction, to be an amazing balm for almost any type of ailment, including the holiday blues. I played tennis instead of throwing snowballs at parked cars yesterday morning. I drank lemonade instead of hot cider. Nor did I have to remove driveway snow and scrounge for an ice scraper to whittle away at a cake layer of car windshield ice.
But I’d by lying if I said that yesterday wasn’t weird. The fact that Heat fans went to the game in shorts, my neighbors were partying it up on their boats and there wasn’t a trace of snow or scent of pineytree or gingerbread in the air was a little displacing. Every time I wished someone a “Merry Christmas”, I felt as if I should have been saying, “Happy Memorial Day”.
Living in a region without seasons is at the bare minimum, “surreal”. I do love the fact that there is a hardly a reason for our spirits to be down, never a day to be concerned about leaving the house with wet hair, or seeing the local golf courses turned into sledding and cross country skiing meccas at least one-third of the year. I appreciate the fact that if one wants to be almost completely anesthetized to the perils of the outside world here, there is every excuse to do so.
I will close this quasi stream of consciousness blog by adding that the day after Christmas in Miami feels just as weird as the day itself. My guess is that a good handful of locals will ask me how my “Christmas” went and whatever I reply will feel contrived. If I were to answer the question as I truly feel, my answer would go something like ” I didn’t realize that yesterday was Christmas. But now that you told me that it was, I guess it was awesome. I spent the day outdoors, enjoying the Miami sun and sharing wonderful moments, including a great movie and ice cream with my girlfriend.
“Christmas” at South Pointe