I'm dreaming of a.....
We are getting to the time of year when we get lectured by experts on how the climate is changing. (Round here it isn't). Ahah! they say, isn't it significant that, with the onset of global warming, our winters are getting warmer? After all, years ago there often used to be snow at Christmas.
I like to keep clear of the Global Warming argument but as a historian I ought to point out that the change in climate over the past two hundred years in East Anglia has been insignificant.We don't get White Christmases, whatever the piped christmas songs in the supermarkets like to make out.
In the Nineteeth Century there had been a few, most notably in 1870. Since 1900 there have been five white Christmasses. 1906 (several inches), 1923 (Norfolk only) 1927 (a snowstorm), 1938 (plenty) and 1970 between 4 to 8 inches). We tend to get snow in January, and the folk memories would seem to date from before the reform of the calendar in 1752, when christmas occured at the time of year that is now January.
The song itself was actually written as a nostalgic lament of the Eastern-European immigrant to the New World. Much of what we now consider to be a 'traditional' Christmas comes from Eastern Europe and Germany via the USA.