Bill Ellis: Dreaming of a white Christmas
It seems to me that dreaming is linked with the past, present and future — past tense, present tense and a future tense. When we dream, is it about something that has already happened? Are we just daydreaming about the present? Dreaming, day or night, may be connected to what we hope for in the future.
Shakespeare referred to dreams as the “Children of an idle brain.” Sigmund Freud called dreams “The imaginary gratification of unconscious wishes.” Perhaps the thoughts of Alexander Pope were the most delicious of all, “You eat, in dreams, the custard of the day.”
An American composer of popular music was born in Russia as Israel Baline, educated in the public schools of New York City where he began his career in music as a singing waiter in restaurants. We know him today as Irving Berlin, who wrote such great music and lyrics as “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (1911), “Easter Parade” (1948) and also “White Christmas,” “God Bless America” and others including some of our best patriotic songs.
At this season of the year, we associate Bing Crosby with singing, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know,” one of the all-time great songs from the pen of Irving Berlin. He was born in 1904, the same year as my dad and named Harry Lillis Crosby. This great singing star and actor was born in Tacoma, Wash., and educated at Gonzaga University, a school that does more than play basketball even though it might be tough to convince Bob Huggins’s WVU team of that.
How often do we have snow on Christmas? In some areas, it is usual or common and in southern states, a big surprise.
Some of us recall Christmas days with lots of snow. I recall getting a new sleigh one Christmas, but no snow. I tried it out on a downhill ride on wet grass.
That is dreaming in the past tense. Some of us want snow so much that if it comes late in the evening on Christmas day, that will be a dream come true. If we get none, we dream of next year. We stand a good chance of having snow during the Christmas season.
Kitty and I lived in snow areas as our parents did and Christmas was a time when we always visited with the grandparents of Elizabeth and Mark. That meant driving through a lot of snow as well as one Christmas in Scott Depot with temperatures in the 70s.
Dr. Melissa Pratt reminded her growing congregation that Jesus was born at the right time and in the right place. You may read about it in Micah 5:2, Luke 2:7 and these words in Luke 2:7 “. . . and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
I will call on my past, my present and future as I do a lot of dreaming about Christmas and especially a “White Christmas.” Our thoughts, prayers, gifts, smiles, written and spoken greetings may be a blessing to others.
Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist who can be reached at P.O. Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560; phone 304-757-6089.