No hunched shoulders, furry hat flaps or mad dashes from car to building around here.
Topaz skies, mild temperatures and light winds brought out dog walkers, joggers and neighbors around the Twin Cities on Saturday. A few duffers ventured out to the Fort Snelling golf course, despite a dusting of snow on the fairways.
"I'm happy the sunshine is out," said Ginny Janelle, who was kicking around the Logan Park playground in northeast Minneapolis with her husband, Peter, and children Anna, 4, and Simeon, 2.
"The kids have been wanting to make a snowman, though," she added.
Behind her, the park's ice skating rink was a watery, slushy mess.
Adriana Herrera and her son, 2-year-old Abraham, also strolled to Logan Park. With relatives driving in from Wisconsin, Herrera was reveling in the mild weather.
"If it would have been snowing out, I don't think they would have made it," she said.
Forecasters say we'll be pushing 37 degrees on Christmas, and hitting an almost-steamy 40 degrees Monday. With December's average temperature hovering 9 degrees above normal, it's a brown town all the way.
The truth is, a brown Christmas isn't such an anomaly around these parts. This is the second one in the Twin Cities in just six years.
Perhaps we're still reeling from Christmas morn a year ago, when there was 19 inches of snow on the ground. Recall that we were on the way to the snowiest December on record. Snow plowing budgets were nearly dry in Minneapolis and St. Paul after the rash of the snow emergencies.
While some people are actually enjoying the brown this year, don't count Vinson Dahle among them. Yet there he was, jogging along the Mississippi River in shorts, a glistening of sweat on his forehead.
Dahle, 24, a St. Paul native back for the holidays, now lives in Enid, Okla.
"I wish there was snow," Dahle said, wistfully. "Being down there, I miss it."
Outside of the historic Milwaukee Road Depot in downtown Minneapolis, Jon Hawkins played tag with his children Ellie, 8, Matthew, 6, and Henry, 4.
The family was in town from Orinda, Calif., for a 12-day visit with relatives in Wayzata.
"It's not that bad," Hawkins said. "We were prepared for the cold."
Inside, ice skaters young and old circled the rink, as bluesy Christmas music played.
Fayette Hayse, who has worked three previous Christmas Eve shifts, said the place was hopping when it opened at 10 a.m. She credits the warm weather.
"People are more apt to come out when it's nicer like this," she said. "You don't have to leave as much time to travel if you're going even across town or to the suburbs. I have no problems with it."
Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335
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