ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

White Christmas - A Carol that Evokes Fond Visions of Christmas and Snow Everywhere

Updated on December 17, 2011

Christmas is Not Always White

Having grown up in upstate New York, I have always believed that Christmas and snow go together. Not that Rochester, New York, my hometown, is known for white Christmases. Cold and overcast is common with a little better than a fifty-fifty chance of some snow on the ground if not snow falling from the skies and blanketing the landscape.

Living in Arizona for the past two and a half decades have made me used to green Christmases even though I still miss the snow covered Christmases we had in my youth. Ironically, the one white Christmas in Tucson in the years I have lived here occurred the year we took our, then three or four year old son, back to Rochester for Christmas. I had promised him a traditional snow covered Christmas with the family.

However, instead a landscape covered with a fresh blanket of snow, we woke up on Christmas Day to a cloudy day with the temperature in the low 40s and an intermittent drizzling rain.

What was worse, was a big picture on the front page of the morning paper showing palm trees in downtown Tucson with branches bent under the weight of the snow covering them and a headline boldly announcing the first white Christmas in Arizona since some time in the 1940s. While we have had a handful of snow storms since then, none of them have been on Christmas.

Carol Was Written at Poolside in Beverly Hills

My early association of Christmas and snow is probably why I have always enjoyed the Christmas carol White Christmas.

Having been written a few years before I was born and being popular in my youth as one regularly heard Bing Crosby singing it on the radio while I was growing up, is probably the main reason I enjoy it so much.

The music and lyrics for the carol were composed in 1940 by Irving Berlin for the 1942 movie Holiday Inn staring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Berlin supposedly composed the carol while sitting by the pool in Beverly Hills, California and drew inspiration from his memories of Christmas decorations and snow while growing up in New York City.

According to WikiPedia the original version of the carol began with the words:

The sun is shining, the grass is green,
The orange and

palm trees sway.
I've never seen such a day
in Beverly Hills, L.A.
But it's December the twenty-fourth,—
And I am longing to be up North—

Evokes Memories of Snow and Christmas

The joys of winter and snow are relative. Like other things in life, the joys of snow and winter are temporary. For children, snow is a lot of fun and the words of the carol definitely make one think back to the happy and carefree days of their childhood.

However, snow tends to lose its charms as one gets older and finds themselves having to crawl out of a warm bed early on a dark winter morning so that they can go outside and shovel the snow off the driveway in order to get to work. Sunshine, green grass and palm trees swaying in the breeze in places like Beverly Hills, California or Tucson, Arizona make for a more appealing image most of the time.

Yet, there are few activities more peaceful and more beautiful than a stroll with one's lover on a crisp and quiet winter evening with the ground covered with a blanket of new snow while snow continues to gently drift down from the sky and the only sound is the gentle crunching sound from below as you walk on the newly fallen snow. And on Christmas Eve the experience is even more serene and beautiful.

The carol quickly became popular and its popularity led to Bing Crosby staring in a second movie, White Christmas, which was released in 1954 and the ending scene of which had Bing Crosby leading the cast in singing the carol while snow began falling on Christmas Eve in the background.

Association with World War II

The movie, like the carol, evoked memories of wartime camaraderie and the bonding between soldiers fighting overseas while consoling themselves with memories of past white Christmases at home with their families.

While one of the themes of the movie White Christmas is that of two ex soldiers (played by Bing Crosby and co-star Danny Kaye) helping their former commander, with whom they shared Christmas on a lonely battlefield in Italy during World War II, save his Vermont ski resort that was failing due to lack of snow, the song itself tends to evoke nostalgic memories of home and family. With families separated by the war, as almost every family had a son, husband, father, nephew, etc. away fighting, it is easy to see why the carol quickly became popular during the war.

The song itself, however was not written for the war. Instead, it was intended as a Christmas song to accompany a movie that was a part of a series of films commemorating American Holidays. Composer Irving Berlin was commissioned in 1940 to write this and songs for other holidays for the series.

With musical and theatrical productions, as with the production of other products, there is a time lag between the idea and the finished product and world events continue to develop and change during the production process. In this case World War II erupted for the United States with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 just a few weeks before Bing Crosby introduced the song, White Christmas, on his radio show broadcast on Christmas Day 1941.

As the United States was gearing up for the war in 1942 by drafting, training and deploying troops to fight around the world, the movie Holiday Inn, for which the song had originally been commissioned, was released in August 1942. Earlier, in May 1942, Bing Crosby made the first recording of White Christmas, which was released in the fall of that year where it quickly rose to the top of the charts.

Carol Has Remained a Classic

Given the nostalgic theme of the carol and the coincidence of its release just as the United States entered World War II, it is easy to see how it quickly became popular and has remained popular in the hearts of people at Christmas time.

It's a HubMob!
It's a HubMob! | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 

      8 years ago from The English Midlands

      Oh, yes! 'White Christmas' is a wonderful song!

      I have both 'Holiday Inn' and 'White Christmas' on DVD. And I have the version of the song with the introductory verse included:

      'The sun is shining, the grass is green,

      The orange and palm trees sway.

      I've never seen such a day

      in Beverly Hills, L.A.

      But it's December the twenty-fourth,—

      And I am longing to be up North—'

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      nice, thank you!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I miss the white Christmas's also but I don't miss the snow for the other months. I live in norther FL so we get cool and sometimes cold weather but not snow.

    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      William Torpey - glad you enjoyed the Hub. I don't expect to agree with everyone on everything but having a range of interests makes it easy to find common ground with people. And Bing Crosby and Irving Berlin made great music which I still enjoy listening to.


    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      skgrao - thanks for visiting this Hub. I have written one Hub about Jawaharlal Nehru ( ) if you have a suggestion for other topics let me know and I will give it a try.


    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      We may not agree on politics, Chuck, but I think we share an appreciation for White Christmas, Irving Berlin and Bing Crosby. I enjoyed this hub very much -- especially the Crosby video.

    • skgrao profile image

      S K G Rao. 

      9 years ago from Bangalore City - INDIA.

      Write something on INDIA please.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)