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White Christmas

Idiom/Expression: White Christmas – a Christmas day when there is snow on the ground.

There are a lot of people in the United States
who associate the holiday season and Christmas with snow, even if they live in
a place where it never snows.  There are
nostalgic, old time pictures and images on Christmas decorations and cards with
snowy Christmas scenes. These snowy images make people think of a simpler time
in an ideal world where everything seems perfect. Many people hope for and talk
about a white Christmas along with other holiday traditions such as hanging
stockings by the fire and decorating a Christmas tree.  In some places, people gamble each year on if
there will be snow or not on Christmas day. 

Context #1 – Two roommates are talking about what to do at
Christmas time.

Jeff:I really miss New York at Christmas time. When I was
a kid, we used to have a white Christmas every year!
Maggie: Wow!
You are so lucky! I’ve lived in California my whole life and I’ve never
actually experienced snow, except at Disneyland and that was fake snow.
Jeff: Really? That’s
too bad. It’s so nice waking up on Christmas morning and looking outside to see
everything covered in a blanket of snow! It’s like a picture you see on a
Christmas card!
Maggie: Well, Big Bear is not so far away. Why
don’t we go there on Christmas day so that I can see the snow for myself and you
can get the white Christmas you are
missing here in LA?
Jeff: You know, that is a great idea! I guess we will have a white Christmas after all!

One of the most famous Christmas songs in the United States is “White Christmas,” written in January of 1940. Many well-known artists have recorded this song and it is still widely played on the radio during the holiday season in the U.S.

Context #2 – Following
are the lyrics from the song “White Christmas.” Read along while you watch the

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

 Meaning: In context 1, the two roommates decide they want to go out
of town to a place where it is snowy so that they can have a white Christmas. In
the lyrics for the song “White Christmas,” the singer is nostalgic for the Christmases
of the past filled with sleigh bells, children, and snow.  He wishes everyone a Christmas like the happy
ones he remembers.

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