X – White Xmas!

Ok, I know I’m stretching it a bit by using Xmas as my X, but there’s not a whole lot of choice out there! I could have had X-country skiing, or the annual Winter X-games in Aspen, but Xmas day is on Monday, so let’s have a nice warm and fuzzy feeling going here. After all, the abbreviation of Christmas to Xmas has a long history. In early Greek versions of the New Testament the letter X (chi), is the first letter of Christ (Χριστός). Since the mid-sixteenth century Χ, or the similar Roman letter X, was used as an abbreviation for Christ. So I’m fine with that.

The song White Christmas is undoubtedly the most famous and popular of all the Christmas songs. The music and lyrics for White Christmas were written by Irving Berlin in 1942 and originally featured in the movie Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby. The lyrics of White Christmas struck a chord with the soldiers fighting in the Second World War and their families who were waiting for them back home. The song and recording of White Christmas by Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter’s orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers was so popular that it was later reprised in the movie called after its name – White Christmas. The film White Christmas once again starred Bing Crosby together with Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.

According to Wikipedia, a White Christmas is the name of the occurrence where snow is on the ground on Christmas Day. The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) assumes a “white Christmas” is having at least one inch of snow on the ground December 25th.

In the UK, the meaning is slightly different, primarily because snowfall is a rare occurrence, and when it comes it causes absolute chaos! The Brits love a flutter (gamble) and the definition used most widely by those placing and taking bets, is for a single snow flake to be observed falling in the 24 hours of 25 December, on the roof of a Met Office monitoring station. Some bookies are accepting bets for that snowflake to fall at the airports of Heathrow, Glasgow, Manchester or Dublin. With less than a week to go, bookie William Hills have already taken six four-figure bets on the chances of a White Christmas, and are facing a payout of over £100,000. Snow in London on December 25 has been cut from 6/1 to 9/2, with snow in Aberdeen and Glasgow offered at 4/1 and Cardiff best priced at 6/1.