‘Tis the season more people pay attention to refrigeration — the natural kind.

Christmas traditions are based on Sumerians trying to defeat winter and bring back the sun for more time in the sky; Romans and Greeks burning candles to retain the sun’s light and warmth; Teutonic and Celtic tribes burning holly, pine, fir, and spruce to fight off winter demons; and Norse legends advocating the god Woden rising on a eight-legged horse protecting people from the cold. All of which add up to many of the Christmas traditions we have today.

But it is all pretty antirefrigeration stuff advocating getting rid of the cold. But then there is Irving Berlin, who lived in California and while missing the white Christmases back East, wrote a song about his need for seeing snow.

Where mechanical refrigeration enters the wintery picture is with ski slopes needing some help in the snow creation department. Also, there’s those stunts pulled in some year-round warm-weather communities where snow-creating equipment is used or snow is brought in refrigerated trucks to temporarily cover an open area so kids can frolic in the snow for an hour or so before it melts — enough time for camera and film crews to record the fun for the evening news light feature.

But mechanical refrigeration folks know their expertise is needed year-round in virtually every part of the world. Frozen and refrigerated foods and drinks need more reliable temperatures than what might be provided by outdoor ambient temperatures in even the most Northern climates; and it remains a necessity in Southern climes.

Nowhere does that become more apparent than at the holiday season. Consider Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year’s Eve and Day. Consider the food that is prepared ahead and either kept in freezers or refrigerators until time to serve it and all the leftovers that are kept in the fridge afterwards. And then there’s the beverages, starting with a cold beer on Thanksgiving during the football games and through the drinks containing ice cubes on New Year’s Eve along with the requisite champagne that has been kept chilled for just that toast at midnight and ending with more cold beer during all the football games on New Year’s Day.

So let the legends defame cold. Refrigeration folks know their value this time of year. If not, just wait until a bar has its ice machine go on the fritz at this time of year. A service tech at that time is more appreciated than any fellow in a red suit.

Publication: 11/28/2011