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[Report] SENEWS-2007-12-23 Report

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This is Steve Ember with the VOA Special English Holiday Program.

Music fills the air, colorful lights shine brightly in windows. Children and adults open gifts from loved ones and friends. These are all Christmas traditions.

Another tradition is snow. Christmas in the northern part of the world comes a few days after the start of winter. In many places a blanket of clear white snow covers the ground on Christmas Day. This is what is meant by a white Christmas. Of course, many places do not yet snow with Christmas. In fact, there may be very warm this time of year. People who like snow but live where it is warm can only dream of having a white Christmas.

American songwriter E.G captures this feelings in his song white Christmas. It is one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time. The opening words explain why the singer is dreaming of a white Christmas. Most people never hear these words, so they never really understand the truly meaning of the song. Here is how it starts:

The sun is shining,
The grass is green,
The orange palm trees sway.
I've never seen such a day,
In Beverly Hills LA.
But it's December the 24th,
And I am longing to be up North.

Up North where is cold and snowing, not south where is warm and sunny. Over the years, hundreds of singers and musicians have called it white Christmas. But the version most people still know best was sang by Bing Crosby:

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the treetops glisten,
And children listen,
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
With every Christmas card I write.
May your days be merry and bright.
And may all your Christmases be white.

Song writer E.G was born in Russia in 1888. He did not celebrate Christmas as religious holiday. He is Jewish, but his song celebrates the night of peace and happiness that anyone, anywhere snowing or not can enjoy. To all of you, best wishes this holiday season from all of us in VOA Special English. This is Steve Ember.
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