Growing up as a child one of my favorite things to do was to go Christmas shopping. Snowflakes routinely drifted from the air and gave a chill to your nose. A warm fan blew in the doorway as you entered the store likened to a fireplace. I used to take off my gloves and rub my hands together. The best places to shop were the stores with cafes. The aroma of hot chocolate and coffee filled the air, and for a quarter you could savor the taste for a while. The staff was welcoming and waiting to help you in your selections. Later in the winter, there would be parades and festivals. On Christmas eve I used to stare out the window hoping to see the first sign that a white Christmas was forthcoming.
Ohio was the perfect mix of weather, you could normally count on seeing four seasons throughout the year. I live in south Mississippi now. We have four seasons too: Chilly, warm, hot and can someone please turn down the A/C. On a few rare occasions, we’ve had snow, but if the winter bug hits, most likely we will have an ice storm. We have many different types of weather for Christmas, but only once, do I remember having a white one. The snow lasted for exactly six hours, just long enough to open our presents and get the ham in the oven. I miss those times in Ohio where the weather dictated the holiday. A place where summers meant swimming and spring meant a light jacket.
The first of October, our bank released our Christmas Club to our savings account. I placed a couple of mail order Christmas gifts due to a need for engraving, which takes a while to accomplish. Otherwise, the money sat waiting for the perfect opportunity to head out to the stores. The last week of October I actually had to put on a leather jacket to stay warm. When November hit, the temperatures rose into the low 80’s. It was also the week I planned to Christmas shop. We live in a small town, that boasts some wonderful specialty shops and a Walmart. Anything else requires a sixty-mile drive into the next largest metropolis.
The sweating began nearly immediately as I exited the car. I could hear Christmas music being piped through the outdoor sound system. Dashing for the cool breeze in the doorway I was met with flying bees as many shops had their doors wide open. The corporate offices had turned on their heat the week before, and they were still trying to fight it off. It wasn’t outrageously hot, but having a bee allergy and trying to navigate bath and body works with all the scents was a bit challenging. Later some of the stores had managed to cool, and shopping became less frightful. I was getting things done and my shopping partner and I were ticking off our lists, but it just wasn’t the same as those days back in Ohio. We did manage some hot coffee in the B&N though who on the other side of the town had managed to find the slider on the thermostat.
We have lived here for many years now, but it never feels like Christmas. The week before Christmas always leaves us hopeful when the 40’s and 50’s rear their head. Then Christmas eve the 70’s show up and my dreams are shot. One year we even had a tornado warning. My friend who is like a sister to me loves her life in Florida in the winter. She goes to the beach frequently. Not me! Bring on the snow or at the very least 35-45 degrees and some rain. I’m not picky. Wherever you are I hope you enjoy your Christmas shopping and Santa brings the weatherman you prefer.