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Roy Peter Clark: Here comes ‘Christmas Without Snow’

Roy Peter Clark

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Image: Shutterstock

It’s impossible to watch a Hallmark Christmas movie without scenes of perfect snow. When most Americans think of an ideal Christmas, they think about all that white stuff. But what do we Floridians think of? Santa on a surfboard? Reindeer wearing sunscreen?

In 1982 I tried to answer that question by writing a song for my three young daughters. I called it Christmas Without Snow. The sheet music was printed in the Floridian section of the St. Petersburg Times. Twenty-five years later, the Times published the lyrics, with additional verses, suitable for family reading, especially with children.

A performance video appears on YouTube, attracting thousands of views. Floridians love sending versions of my song to their friends and relatives up north, buried in blizzards. A pandemic version titled Santa Wore a Mask appeared earlier this year, anticipating the struggles of living through the holidays in this year of 2020.

My favorite lines are:

If the Grinch is feeling grouchy

Kinda stank and kinda slouchy

Hook him up with Dr. Fauci.

Santa wore a mask.

In the spirit of the season, the Catalyst is publishing the original version with additional lyrics. And just remember that the most famous Christmas song of all time, White Christmas, was sung by a melancholy narrator experiencing Christmas without snow.

 

Christmas Without Snow

By Roy Peter Clark

 

Kids will sing and laugh and play

On a sunny shore today

Santa will not need a sleigh

Christmas without snow.

 

Bright star just like Bethlehem

Palm trees we’ve a lot of them

Come now let us sing a hymn

Christmas without snow.

 

Chorus:

Snow, snow, snow

No, no, no

So, so, so

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.

 

Santa pack your summer clothes

And some salve for Rudolph’s nose

Sunburn always make it glow

Christmas without snow.

 

Santa bring your water skis

Ice cream snowballs if you please

It is 81 degrees

Christmas without snow.

 

(Chorus)

 

Even jolly Frosty Snowman

Will leave town as fast as he can

To avoid a fatal suntan

Christmas without snow.

 

Even little Suzy Snowflake

Will become a crispy cornflake

When she hits our torrid landscape

Christmas without snow.

 

(Chorus)

Santa’s elves will wear their shades

Way down in the Everglades

Never mind the hurricanes

Christmas without snow.

 

Alligators celebrate

They think Christmas Day is great

They all look like they just ate

Christmas without snow.

 

(Chorus)

 

Dolphins wear their Christmas hats

And resemble acrobats

Reindeer wish they could do that

Christmas without snow.

 

A happy bird will get his wish

On Christmas Even his favorite dish

That pelican can really fish

Christmas without snow.

 

(Chorus)

 

Christmas kitty’s little paws

Will get a case of sandy claws

Where Mr. Shark shows off his jaws

Christmas without snow.

 

In Florida old Mr. Scrooge

Will change his humbug attitude

Hawaiian shirts improve his mood

Christmas without snow.

 

(Chorus)

 

If you like sleet and yucky slush

Or husky dogs that you can mush

Away from here you better rush

Christmas without snow.

 

If you like Christmas in the sun

And pink flamingos by the ton

Then join us for some yuletide fun

Christmas without snow.

 

(Chorus) 

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