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White Christmas song written at AZ Biltmore

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

All week, CBS 5 News at 10 p.m. has been highlighting Arizona Christmas traditions and legends, and Friday's story is both.

White Christmas is one of the most famous holiday songs of all time.

But, it was written in a place not known for its "sleigh bells in the snow."

"I love White Christmas," said Denise Gaines of Paradise Valley. "That's one of my favorites."

You'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't know the words to Irving Berlin's holiday classic.

But, not everyone knows that Berlin, a Jewish songwriter from Russia, penned the Christmas tune under the warm Phoenix sun.

"That's pretty amazing," said Ryan Olson of Phoenix. "I learn something new every day."

Legend has it that Berlin wrote White Christmas while lounging by the Catalina Pool at the Arizona Biltmore in January 1939.

"He was sitting out here in the sun, which he liked to work in," said the Biltmore's Sarah Moran. "He said it was vital to his work."

If you listen to the lyrics, "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas," and consider where Berlin was at this time, it's actually quite fitting.

"I do think that it kind of is a representative song for Arizona, because we do dream of a white Christmas - something we never get," said Allison Georgoulis of Phoenix.

Copyright2013 CBS 5 (KPHO BroadcastingCorporation). All rights reserved.

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