had logo

December 29, 2022


Nicole Tallman

It’s the coldest day of the year in most of the world, but I’m still sweating in the summer sun. There is no white snow here, only sand. Christmas hits different with lights strung around palm trees instead of pines. Relatives send photos of snowbanks blocking front doors and burying cars. 

I move about without layers or falling. There is no wool to warm or ice to melt. People sell hot chocolate anyway, with a side of cinnamon churros. I light a candle that smells like winter wood burning. I call that smell home.

I once saw an iguana fall from a tree when the temperature dropped to 50. I wish it were 50 today. No, I wish it were 30. I wish the sky would open again like it did the year after I was born. We would feel the snow freeze our eyelashes.

We would live a real Christmas miracle. Sweet Baby Jesus, we’d say. Angels dropping white frozen feathers down on Florida from above. Little cold kisses from the winter gods, covering our sunscreened faces.