TTWA Assignment: Imagine you have moved to North Dakota in the midst of winter. Write a postcard that will make Californians jealous.
This task is quite easy. I’ve always had a strong opinion about the value of winter. Christmas in my humble opinion while certainly a religious holiday exists as a winter festival, a celebration of warm food, white lights and warm fires. December and its holidays exist to chase away the fears and despair that accompanies the season. Temperatures fall far below freezing; snow and ice coat the roads; the trees extend from the ground like the living dead. Living things abandon the outside world; we hide in our homes and avoid any reminders that the planet has tilted away from the sun for the next four months.
Christmas for my family chases all that despair away. The smell of baked goods intermingle with pine wreathes. Cranberries and cinnamon pepper our food. As a family we draw close together before the oven and fireplace; lights dance across the treetops; children giggle beneath Christmas trees.
How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world. — Shakespeare
I cannot imagine Christmas in Florida or California. Sure, the holiday exists, but it has no meaning, no significance. You can drink hot chocolate in San Diego but without the bite of winter, how good does that chocolate taste? How can you revel in bonding with family when you are free to move outside? Some of the greatest myths and stories exist because families and friends would sit around a fire and talk to one another. In some respects, this may prove boring, but boredom often spurs creativity.
Yes, winter is not pleasant. Anyone living around the East Coast this year can tell you that, but all the good things associated with Christmas and the holidays are born of the cold and snow. I imagine North Dakota would prove a similar experience. Except for the bears. With that respect you’re on your own.