Bob Groeneveld has been sharing his Odd Thoughts with Langley readers for the past four decades, give or take a few months.

Odd Thoughts: Wet or white incidental to Christmas cheer

There are better things to do than worry about how much snow falls in Langley on Christmas Day

By Bob Groeneveld

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I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas,

Just like the ones I used to know:

Where the blacktop glistens,

And children listen

For boots splashing down the road.

I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas

With every raindrop on the lawn.

May your days be dreary and dull,

But may all your Christmases be full.

With apologies to Irving Berlin, you have to admit it’s a more realistic vision of the ideal Christmas here on the Wet Coast.

Technically, it was explained to me years ago by a weather guru with Environment Canada, an official White Christmas requires the appearance of snow both on the ground and in the air.

And that ubiquitous apparition of crystallized water has to be in evidence between nightfall on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning.

Boxing Day doesn’t count.

Nor does it count if snow falls, but does not “stick” enough to sufficiently whiten the ground.

Indeed, Environment Canada has decreed that Christmas is not officially white unless there is a two-centimetre blanket of snow by 7:00 o’clock on Christmas morning.

White Christmases are pretty.

But around here, they are also pretty rare.

Mostly because of our Wet Coast climate, the last time there was a Canada-wide White Christmas was in 2008.

There is hope for us, however. When a predicted snowfall – well, actually a “snow flurry” that promised only “traces” of the white stuff – materialized here in Langley last week, I counted at least six snowflakes (there may have been more behind me) before drying up.

One made it to the tip of my nose before succumbing to my heat, but all the rest died on the ground. I have no idea if any of the microscopic flakes “stuck” for any length of time.

We can hope that they were scouts, sent by the rest of the snow pack to check out the area and report back in preparation for an invasion.

Because a bit of white certainly adds a cheeriness to the brightly coloured lights of the season… a cheeriness that is not as brightly reflected in the glisten of soggy sidewalks and drizzle-drenched asphalt.

Whether white or wet, however, Christmas is not always cheery for everyone.

I have you baited with the pedantic appeal of the technicalities of Christmas whiteness. Here’s the switch.

Over more than a half century, volunteers have given thousands of hours to help Langley Christmas Bureau brighten the season.

Without the hampers and toys and family “adoptions” coordinated by the Bureau, Christmas – wet or white – would have been just another grey day for thousands of children.

Everyone I’ve ever talked to through decades of interviews for the newspaper has said that the experience of volunteering gives them much more than they give out.

Help make Christmas just a bit happier – for you and for others – by helping the Langley Christmas Bureau: https://www.langleychristmasbureau.com/ or call 604-530-3001.

Green, white, or muddy brown, everyone deserves a happy Christmas.

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