It’s that magical time of year in Fort Lauderdale – the time when we attempt to explain to children why it’s 74 and yet we’re making them learn all these songs about how it’s snowing.
If you’re a Fort Lauderdale parent, a Fort Lauderdale grandparent or really, anybody who’s ever been around a Fort Lauderdale child, you’ll be familiar with The South Florida Holiday Explanations. They’re the explanations we give, mostly regarding all the holiday traditions that don’t quite line up with Florida reality. Most involve songs.
So many holiday songs center around the notion of: gee whiz, this is a lot of snow. What are we going to do with all this snow? It’s quite cold, what with all this snow. Let’s build a talking snowman who asks weirdly intrusive questions about whether or not we’re married even though we’re clearly children, etc.
They are lovely, timeless tunes, and the children love singing them at school concerts, but occasionally they begin to wonder why they spend so much time singing about listening for sleigh bells in a weather condition they have never personally experienced.
The answer, of course, is that these are the songs we’ve got. Unless you want to put the Jimmy Buffett holiday album on a loop, you’re going to sing about chestnuts and open fires while enjoying light sweater weather.
Personally, I think there’s great potential for Fort Lauderdale-specific holiday classics. For example, I’d sing a 954-based “Jingle Bells.”
Driving down Bayview/
In a new Mercedes-Benz.
The Galleria parking lot’s/
Clogged with Ontarians …
But I feel like I’d be fighting a losing battle with traditionalists and elementary school music teachers on that one, so I’ll stick to the classics. I’ll also stick to my explanation for all the snow songs: it snowed here at least once before, and we need to be prepared in case it does again. Granted, my daughter was not overly impressed when I explained that Fort Lauderdale’s last snow happened 43 years ago and melted as it hit the ground, but still. Got to sing so we’re prepared for the next time Holiday Park is a Winter Wonderland we need to go walkin’ in.
Then there’s the big, non-musical South Florida Holiday Explanation: how Santa gets into houses without chimneys. I offer the same explanation that was once offered to me: Santa has a massive ring of keys labeled “Florida.” It’s not the most exciting explanation, but I feel it’s better than the only other one I’ve thought of, which is that he came up through the toilet like the iguana did that one time.
Yeah, come to think of it, it’s fine that more holiday songs aren’t set in Florida.