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Commentary Detail

Christmas in Florida
Commentary by: Elaine Viets
Aired November 21, 2007

The Christmas decorations have been up since the day after Halloween here in South Florida, but I still can’t get used to them.

There’s something wrong about palm trees with red velvet bows. Twinkle lights don’t look right on trees that still have green leaves. A South Florida Santa looks hot and uncomfortable in a full beard and a red suit trimmed in fur, and even worse in Hawaiian shirts and shorts.

There’s snow everywhere in Florida. Fake snow. The big holiday party in Fort Lauderdale even has a snow machine. People stand in line to show their kids something that looks like a giant snow cone. The first time I saw these poor southerners lining up to see fake snow, I felt sorry for them. They’d never shoveled mounds of snow off their Florida driveway – or chipped ice off their windshield.

They’d look at snow a whole new way after that. It’s not entertainment.

Here’s the weird part: The weather for the first Christmas in Israel was probably closer to South Florida’s than to the northern climates where we borrowed our ideas for a traditional Christmas. In December, the temperature in Bethlehem is usually between sixty to forty degrees, which is pretty close to Florida’s temperatures. By Christmas, it’s the rainy season in Israel, and the days are gray, cold and clammy.

Snow is rare. As for ice, it should stay in drinks, where it belongs.

(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)

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Elaine Viets

Elaine Viets


Elaine Viets is a freelance writer.

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