When I was six, dad, mum and I went to Florida for Christmas. I was terribly excited to be spending Christmas somewhere different, I was even more stupidly excited to experience Disney for the very first time!
We would be staying at my grandparent’s rented condo, which was in Cocoa Beach, and was actually on the beach! However, a problem arose on Christmas day. Everyone was sing, christmas carols, songs about snow, the cold, about open fires, and of course White Christmas. The problem of course was, there was NO SNOW! It was simply hot, and beautiful and perfect, and I, being six, hated it.
I had yet to experienced a non-white christmas! I had been worried about this happening before I left for Florida. I had even discussed it with my Nana – the one who was not renting a condo in Florida, the one who had once gotten a black eye. Nana was a world traveler, like I would become in my teens and twenties. She tried to dissuade my fears by telling me, “When I was in Morocco, in the desert, it snowed. It could always snow in Florida, you maybe in for a white Christmas Florence, even in Florida, my dear.”
Well, with that in my mind, my six-year-old brain I could not understand why it would not snow in Florida, after all it was CHRISTMAS!!! The only way I could communicate my anger was to have a fit!
I went around shouting, “SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW!!!!! Where is the Snow?”
My wonderful grandfather, understood, the reason to my frustration. I think me shouting SNOW, was pretty obvious! My grandfather spoke to me in a whimsical tone, “Florence”, he said, “In Florida they do have snow, it’s a special kind of snow. Would you like to see it?”
Where was this snow? I could not see it. I needed to see it, it was after all Christmas, and Christmas was not Christmas without snow. So I said, yes. And Papa lead me to the beach. I looked everywhere for this snow. I really hoped he did not think I was so stupid to believe that sand was snow! He led me to a cart with an umbrella, and asked me, “What colour would you like the snow to be, if you could pick any colour, Florence.” “Bue”, I replied.
Then the man with the cart handed me a cone of snow, with blue liquid on it. It was so wonderful! I was so excited! There was actual snow in my hands, on Christmas, in Florida whilst in a bathing-suit. I knew it was not real snow, but it was better than real snow, because I was allowed to eat the snow and it tasted amazing!
When I was 19 years old, I spent Christmas with friends in Oman, another hot – sans snow – country. I held out hope that perhaps it would snow at least for Christmas day, just a little. That all I need a bit of snow for Christmas. Yet, again there was no snow… I did find some ice and made myself a snow cone. And I was happy.