11. “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas…”

In this painting, nineteenth-century artist, John O’Connor, captures a snowy view from the National Gallery in London in 1881.

O’Connor, John; View from the National Gallery; The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/view-from-the-national-gallery-20050

For many of us, snow is synonymous with Christmas – the movies, the songs, Advent calendars and Christmas cards –  although white Christmases are much less common than they used to be in the UK. White Christmases were more frequent in the 18th and 19th centuries, even more so before the Julian calendar was replaced by the Gregorian Calendar in 1752 which effectively brought Christmas Day back by 12 days. Climate change has also brought higher average temperatures over land and sea and this has generally reduced the chances of a white Christmas.

The definition that the Met Office uses to define a white Christmas is for one snowflake to be observed falling in the 24 hours of 25th December somewhere in the UK – 2017 was officially the last white Christmas in the UK, with 11 percent of weather stations recording snow falling.  So depending on where you live you may still wake up to snow falling on Christmas Day this year!