This is Steve Ember with a 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 clean white snow covers the ground on Christmas Day. This is what is meant by a "White Christmas."
Of course, many places do not get snow at Christmas. In fact, they 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 Irving Berlin captured these 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 true meaning of the song. Here's how it starts:
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 24th
And I'm longing to be up north.
Up north, where it is cold and snowy.
Not south, where it is warm and sunny.
Over the years, hundreds of singers and musicians have recorded "White Christmas." But the version most people still know best was sung by Bing Crosby.
Songwriter Irving Berlin was born in Russia in 1888. He did not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. He was Jewish.
But his song celebrates an idea of peace and happiness that anyone, anywhere -- snowy 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.
1.palm n. 手掌；棕榈树；掌状物 vt. 将…藏于掌中
A bird settled on his palm.
2.blanket n. 毛毯，毯子；毯状物，覆盖层 adj. 总括的，全体的；没有限制的 vt. 覆盖，掩盖；用毯覆盖
She huddled herself in the blanket.
音乐在空气中欢唱，无彩缤纷的颜色光彩夺目的照耀在窗户玻璃上。孩子们和大人们打开至爱的人和朋友送来的礼物 。这是圣诞节的传统习俗 。
圣诞节另一个传统便是雪。在北方的世界里，冬季开始几天之后便迎来了圣诞节 。许多地方，圣诞节期间，世间万物包裹在洁白的雪被之中 。这就是“白色圣诞节的”涵义所在 。
当然，世界还有些地方圣诞节期间并不下雪。实际上，在这一时节，这些地区还会非常暖和 。人们大都喜欢白雪，但是对于那些生活在此时正值温暖时节的人来说，只能梦想拥有一个白色的圣诞节 。
太阳照耀着大地。绿色荫荫 。桔子树的棕榈树的树叶随风摇曳 。
这么多年来，数百位歌手和音乐家录制了这首 “白色圣诞节”, 但是由平·克劳斯贝演唱的版本人们至今仍然最为熟悉。