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This House is dreaming of a white Christmas. (Junior)
This House is dreaming of a white Christmas. (Junior)
Many people's ideal Christmas day involves snowy weather. Christmas cards often feature snow- white landscapes, along with polar bears, penguins and other cuddly animals from arctic areas. Christmas decorations and displays often involve fake snow or snowflake designs. And the song, "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas", written by Irving Berlin in 1940 and sung by Bing Crosby sums up the Christmas spirit in music for many people.
This wish for a white Christmas is especially strong in parts of the world like Western Europe and much of the USA, where snow on December 25th is possible but actually quite unusual. In the UK there is a great deal of speculation in the media each year about the chances of snow on Christmas Day, and many bets are placed on the possibility. Of course, in other parts of the northern hemisphere they expect snow for several months of the year, and so it is not such a big deal. This case is most relevant to those places like the UK and much of the USA where a white Christmas cannot be taken for granted. However, it also has relevance in many other countries, including even sunny Australia.
|Points For||Points Against|
|The dream of a white Christmas satisfies a need for hope deep within us.||There is nothing Christmassy about snow.|
|Christmas is inextricably linked with an image of a snowy wonderland.||Global warming has made White Christmas an image of the past|
|Wishing for a white Christmas shows a desire to return to the true nature of the holiday||Linking Christmas with snow denies it to some countries|
Remember to choose a winning argument!
The dream of a white Christmas satisfies a need for hope deep within us.
The ideal of a white Christmas also speaks to the old pagan festivals. The winter solstice (Yule, Saturnalia) was a time of hope in the cold and darkness, as nights stopped getting longer and people looked for the promise of new birth in springtime. The Christian Church recognized the power of existing winter festivals and chose December 25th for their own nativity celebrations. People still feel a need to move in time with the seasons, and snow represents winter at its most extreme. For these reasons the dream of a white Christmas satisfies a need deep within us.Improve this
If the idea of a white Christmas is pagan then we should drop it. We are not pagan anymore and we have a modern understanding of the seasons. If the festival was all about the shortest day, then much of the world's population would be left out. Everyone in the southern hemisphere would have to celebrate the festival in June. Those near the equator would never get to celebrate at all. Christmas should unite humanity, not split it apart.Improve this
Christmas is inextricably linked with an image of a snowy wonderland.
We all love the traditional white Christmas. When we think of Christmas we see snowy scenes, with people skating and sledging, and children making snowballs and snowmen. Later the families gather inside around a warm fire to celebrate. This is the sort of Christmas shown on greeting cards and celebrated in so many songs (for example, White Christmas, Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, Walking in a Winter Wonderland, etc.). It isn't a proper Christmas without snow. "The interest in snowy Christmases has its origins in the colder climate of the period 1550–1850 when Britain was in the grip of a ‘Little Ice Age’1 That way, the traditional image was created.
A white Christmas is not traditional. Even in northern countries such as Great Britain snow has always been very rare in December – it is much more likely to fall later in the winter. It’s all Charles Dickens’ fault – he grew up in the unusually snowy 1810s, and later wrote snowy scenes into his popular Christmas stories, such as “A Christmas Carol”. Even in the 19th Century, snow at Christmas was uncommon, and in many places today it is quite rare (Western Europe, most of the USA) or impossible (southern hemisphere countries like Australia). It is better to enjoy Christmas for what it is rather than feeling sorry every year that it doesn’t live up to some storybook picture.Improve this
Wishing for a white Christmas shows a desire to return to the true nature of the holiday
For most people Christmas today is not about a religious festival, but about consumption, greed and shopping. Wishing for a snowy white Christmas is about turning the clock back to a time when life was simpler. Instead of focusing on getting presents, getting fat and getting drunk, a white Christmas is something money can't buy. It symbolizes time with family, playing outdoors in the snow, making your own entertainment and enjoying the wonder of nature. Who wouldn't prefer a Christmas like that?Improve this
It might suit the non-religious people who run much of the media to say that, but it strips Christmas of all real meaning. The truth is that anyone can celebrate Christ's birth at Christmas, whether they are in snowy Lapland, summery Australia or tropical Africa. Christmas has nothing to do with snow; it is the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth in a Bethlehem stable. Snow is not mentioned in the Bible story and it is very, very rare in Bethlehem. Seeing the holiday as just a snowy winter festival is a way of taking Christ out of Christmas.Improve this
There is nothing Christmassy about snow.
Snow can look lovely but the novelty soon wears off. Snow is cold and wet and the ice that comes with it is dangerously slippery. Every year even light snow causes broken bones and other injuries. Heavy snow is worse – it can leave elderly people trapped in their houses, bring down power lines, shut down transport systems and cause deaths through both cold and car accidents. None of this is remotely Christmassy. Snow can even wreck Christmas for many families, as travel hold-ups prevent relatives from reaching them for the celebration. As the BBC wrote in December 2010, “The wintry weather has caused chaos for many thousands of travelers trying to get to their destination of choice for Christmas."1
Snow is actually a lot of fun. It makes even the dullest countryside or ugliest town look beautiful, even magical. Snow changes everything, yet it is fragile and short-lived. Children love to stamp and slide in snow, to crunch it together to create snowmen and play snowballs. Young people enjoy healthy winter sports like skiing and skating. Older adults enjoy sharing the romance of a snowy landscape over a warming drink, and remembering happy childhood winters. There is no wonder people dream of a white Christmas; it's a magical image.Improve this
Global warming has made White Christmas an image of the past
Global Warming means that few people will ever get to see a white Christmas. Many of the most populated areas of Western Europe and the USA could once expect snow at Christmastime, so perhaps the idea of a white Christmas once had real meaning. Now we have to accept that those days have gone. Mankind's damage to the world's climate means we have to get use to a coldish, greyish Christmas each year. There is no point dreaming, and denial can even be harmful, as we will be disappointed every year. We need to learn to love Christmas for what it is in the modern world.Improve this
White Christmases may not be common any more but we can still dream of them. The scientists say that climate change is warming the world and many places that used to get snow in winter (e.g. Moscow, New York) will see it much more rarely in future. But our desire for a white Christmas just like the ones we used to know symbolizes our awareness of climate change. This issue could help shift public opinion in favor of tackling global warming.Improve this
Linking Christmas with snow denies it to some countries
Dreaming of a white Christmas also suggests that some countries have a special relationship with Christmas (e.g Finland, Norway), and that hot countries (e.g. largely Christian Kenya, Ethiopia and Mexico) or Southern hemisphere countries (e.g. Australia, Argentina, South Africa) cannot celebrate Christmas properly — surely the opposite of the true Christmas message.Improve this
Human cleverness means that a white Christmas is within reach. Modern technology includes snow-making machines — commonly in use in many ski resorts. So whenever it is cold enough, we can spray fake snow all over our towns to delight young and old alike. And even if outdoor temperatures are too warm, we can refrigerate huge buildings in order to create Christmassy winter wonderlands.Improve this
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