The season for singing about a white Christmas, sleigh rides with jingle bells, Frosty the Snowman and the delights of a fire when the weather is frightful has largely passed, but over the next few weeks, such thoughts and images will become increasingly relevant.
Ice skating, snow and winter sports are a big part of the holiday season's lore, but, at least in these parts, not so much a part of reality. White Christmases are few and far between, coming about 20 percent of the time if you count dustings like the one experienced on the most recent Eve of the Nativity.
The reason's simple: the start of winter falls right around Christmas every year, usually on Dec. 21, though this varies by a few hours every year, sometimes pushing the season's start into an adjoining day.
Curiously, since the start of winter on Dec. 21, 2012, days have been getting ever so slightly longer. Intuition might say longer days would mean the weather should be getting warmer, just as shorter days in the fall were marked by cooler weather.
The human experience over the whole of our history, however, tells us the worst is yet to come, at least in terms of cold wind, ice and snow. Winter sports enthusiasts are just getting warmed up as the weather really starts to cool down.
It remains to be seen if this season will bring a lot of snow to Harford County and the surrounding territories, but if we're going to get it, this is the time of year to expect it. Dreaming of a white Christmas may have warm nostalgia associated with it, but it's hard to carry the tune while shoveling snow in January.
Unless you're skiing, skating or otherwise engaged in winter sports, it's hard to get a warm feeling at the thought of snow at this time of year.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun