Indeed, Charles Dickens is ideally cited as the inspiration for our propensity toward snowy Christmases. Born in Portsmouth England in 1812, Charles Dickens lived during the latter portion of what François E. Matthes called The Little Ice Age.
This was a time of prolonged cold, dry seasons, so cold that the Thames River in London froze solid, and is said to have lasted from about 1300 to about 1850. There are myriad theories about what caused it.
Dickens was born into an unusually cold world. Then, when he was four years old, Mount Tambora, on Sumbawa island in Indonesia, erupted. It is the most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history.
Soon, the Northern Hemisphere was plunged into The Year Without a Summer. Average global temperatures dropped, it snowed during the wrong seasons, and particles ejected from Mount Tambora reflected sunlight away from the Earth.
Charles Dickens experienced several white Christmases during one of the coldest decades in England (1810-1819). From my readings I’ve come to realize that many of the hardships depicted in his novels are rather autobiographical, and especially those snowy Winters.
As Christmas Day quickly approaches, I wish you a very Happy Holiday Season, and some snow on Christmas day.