Southern summers are so hot, that winter brings a cool relief – like the ice cream on a slice of hot apple pie. Winter isn’t always about sledding, building snowmen, or snowball fights. In the South, winter brings extra layers of clothing and warm hats – all without the white stuff. When my daughter, Annie, was 21-months old, we’d head outdoors during the cooler months. She enjoyed the park in any weather; but in the winter, the lack of park patrons brought endless use of the swings and perpetual fun on the slide.
Even though Annie enjoyed the park in the middle of winter, she still wondered about snow. Her Grandpa lived in Ohio, and he had snow. Blue and Dora both had snow. And, of course, all of the Whos in Whoville had snow. So why didn’t Annie get any snow?
While it was difficult to explain about weather patterns and global location in regards to snowfall, I managed to appease my daughter’s troubled mind. It is normal and natural for us not to have snow. We live in the South. But the next question was impossible to explain to her. “Why are all of the Christmas Carols about snow?” One way or another, little Annie would ask it. “We don’ haf Frosty, Mama. We don’ haf snow.” Or “Mama, the horseys in our town pull carriages, not sleighs.”
So how do you explain to a toddler why we sing about Jack Frost and snowy winter wonderlands, when it rarely gets below thirty-two degrees? Are any other Southern parents experiencing this same problem? Well, here’s the solution that I found. I wrote a Southern Christmas Carol for all the southern kiddies who want to sing the praises of the season, but don’t have any of the white stuff.
Beach Sea Shells (sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)
Dashing through the park
with no one else in sight
O’er the slide we go
We’ll swing with all our might
Carolers will sing
while drinking their sweet tea
No heavy coats they bring
Oh, mid-December glee
Oh, beach sea shells, beach sea shells
deserted winter beach
Oh, what fun is wintertime
Below the Mason-Dixon line.
I’ve researched “Southern carols” on Google and can’t seem to find any actual, sing-able, warm winter songs for kids. So, I hope that you sing about deserted beaches and empty parks this winter in the South.
My daughter and I visited the park on one of the last days of the year. It was an exceptionally warm day, even for the South. Annie wore jeans and a sweatshirt with a light jacket for added warmth. And of course, she donned her favorite winter hat – the one she even likes to wear inside the house! The park was empty, the slides were slick, and the breeze was refreshingly cool. We enjoyed the day of winter fun – almost forgetting that the heat of summer wasn’t far behind. But for now we savor the cool, smooth ice cream; because before long we’ll be left with only pie.