Blog: White Christmas

Burt Ross

I just don’t get it. The other day I was listening to the radio and out poured Irving Berlin’s lyrics, “ 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.”

Forgive me, but if I wanted a white Christmas with sleigh bells in the snow, I would never have moved to Malibu in the first place. I would have stayed right where I spent the first 68 years of my life — in the Garden State. Actually, I probably would have moved to Vermont.

I have great respect for Irving Berlin, perhaps America’s greatest songwriter, but why was he writing about snowy Christmases? He spent his first five years in Imperial Russia so, yes, there must have been lots of snow there, but with the pogroms and all, it’s hard to believe he had nostalgic memories from his early childhood.

Born Israel Beline, I don’t begin to know why he was writing about Christmas in any way shape or form. He should have written a song entitled “White Hanukkah.” I am not sure it would have sold as well as “White Christmas,” but you never know.

When I grew up in New Jersey, many of my friends around Christmas time high tailed it out of Jersey and headed down to Florida to get some of that wonderful sunshine. I never heard anybody say, “Let’s stay home and shovel some snow.”

If the folks back East want a white Christmas or a white Hanukkah, God bless them. I hope they get two feet of it, if that’s what they really want. As for me, I hope on Christmas day, the temperature here in Malibu reaches 78 degrees, that there isn’t a cloud in the sky and, as I sit outside and look at the ocean, a mild ocean breeze caresses my body. (The current weather report says I’m dreaming, but whatever comes our way, it sure beats snow.)

Hope you all have a very sunny and merry Christmas and a happy Hanukkah!