The first day of winter is approaching soon in the Northern Hemisphere. To be exact, it will begin this Friday! And with winter, many long to see white, fluffy snow blanket across their surroundings. Many also wish for a white Christmas.
Today guest writer, Maria Carmen Wellington of the blog Wellington World Travels, talks about experiencing her first white Christmas. As a fellow expat, her story of experiencing her first white Christmas is relatable and bittersweet.
Growing up in the Philippines, Christmas means decorating the houses with Christmas trees, lights and lanterns, exchanging gifts, singing Christmas songs, attending Misa de Gallo for nine days, having fireworks, and a Noche Buena on Christmas Eve.
While I love the joyous, colorful and lively Christmas celebration in the Philippines, I have always dreamt of a White Christmas. I have dreamt of wearing warm clothes, watching snow fall, playing in the snow, making a snowman.
When an opportunity came for me to travel, I spent my first White Christmas in Frankfurt, Germany in 2010. This was not by choice – I was scheduled to go there for work. I will never forget the experience. I stayed at a hotel. The lobby was decorated and had a big Christmas tree. The snow was falling, and it was zero degree Celsius when I reached there. It was everything I had ever wanted and imagined. The only problem was that I was alone.
It was my first White Christmas, my first Christmas abroad, my first Christmas away from my family, and my first Christmas alone…
Not to feel homesick and sad, I called my family and wished them a Merry Christmas, and played some Christmas songs in my hotel room. I walked around downtown and had a hot chocolate. I even made a snow angel. This was my first time! So I would never miss the chance to do this. Then, I had a Christmas dinner at the hotel. I stayed in Frankfurt for four days.
It was short but sweet. I was alone but still memorable.
Bing Crosby’s version of White Christmas is the biggest-selling single worldwide of all time. It was written by Irving Berlin reminiscing about an old Christmas setting.
The song refers to the soldiers during the World War II dreaming of a white Christmas with their families “with every Christmas card I write” and their families waiting for them back home “where the treetops glisten, and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow”.
For me, I dreamt of a White Christmas. And I am still dreaming of a white Christmas – literally white (with snow) – with my family…
May your days be merry and bright,
And may all your Christmases be white!