Dreaming of a White Christmas … in South Africa?

Dreaming of a White Christmas … in South Africa?

Actually this is not beyond the realms of possibility… I recently read that in 1957, when I was not quite two years old, it snowed on Table Mountain on Christmas Day! (ref)

While I don’t remember that Christmas day back in 1957, or if it did in fact snow on Table Mountain, I do remember our own “White” Christmas more recently. 13 years ago I woke on Christmas morning feeling slightly chilly. Opening the curtains, I was greeting with the most unexpected and surprising sight, the mountains around our country home were covered in snow. ‘Quickly come and look, we have a White Christmas’, I yelled to my family. ‘It will still be there when I get up’, I heard my husband muttering, who was none too keen to be woken so early on Christmas morning. I think he thought I was hallucinating, but there it was… the Winterhoek, Witsenberg and Bainskloof Mountains were covered in snow, taking many overnight hikers by surprise.

This year, however, it is highly unlikely that we will have snow in the Western Cape as not even Europe or the UK are expecting a “White Christmas”. However, it is not snow that makes Christmas, it is the spreading of goodwill, the sharing of joy, giving, and feasting with family and friends and even strangers, and the celebration of the birth of the Christ child in the manager in Bethlehem, that is the spirit of Christmas.

As we gaze up at the full moon on Christmas night, let us count our blessings, express our gratitude and pray for world peace, and understanding, acceptance and tolerance of all people.

To our Christian readers may the joy and peace of Christmas be with you, and to all our readers we wish you a safe and relaxing holiday.

Shannon Paul

As a young adult I loved the mountains, hiking, the fynbos, rocky shore, and the indigenous flora and fauna of South Africa, so it was natural when our children came along that we raised them to be mountains kids and to be passionate about their environment. A choice that influenced both their careers. Having taught English for many years I enjoy reading and writing, and my garden in the country is my passion and our refuge. Here we organically produce our own bottle olives and oils from our olive orchard and grow many of our own vegetables and herbs.