Christmas in Florida
Christmas in Florida
Having grown up in New England and experiencing many a white Christmas, it was hard for me to really enjoy Christmas in Florida. Christmas is synonymous with snow, cold weather, sipping hot chocolate by the fire, and building snow men. Even portrayals of Santa Claus in books and movies are biased toward cold weather climates. He is always shown with his rosy red cheeks trudging along a snow covered roof top and climbing down the chimney. Christmas in Florida is a completely different experience. We do not have snow (not in my lifetime anyway), it rarely gets below forty degrees where I live, and seeing a house with a chimney is a rare occurrence.
We do have one thing though that you won't find anywhere else. There is actually a town here named Christmas! It started out as Fort Christmas in 1837 during the Second Seminole Indian War. According to the Fort Christmas website, "On December 25th, 1837 a force of 2,000 U.S. Army Soldiers and Alabama Volunteers arrived near this spot to construct a fort which was aptly named, Fort Christmas." The actual town of Christmas, Florida is pretty small and in 2000 only had a population of just over 1,100 people. During the holiday season though, the local post office gets extremely busy. People come from all over the state, and possibly country, to mail out there Christmas cards just to that they are postmarked from "Christmas, FL". Aside from the post office, the town also is home to the worlds largest non-organic alligator.
- Florida Christmas Tree Association
Just because our lawns are full of palm trees does not mean we bring them inside to decorate them. I was actually surprised to find out that there is a Florida Christmas Tree Association that has an index of all the Christmas Tree farms in Florida.
Christmas at Disney World
Disney World always hosts special activities for holidays, and Christmas is no exception. Micky's Very Merry Christmas Party is one of the most popular events to attend. It is held at the Magic Kingdom Theme Park and requires a separate ticket to attend the event. There is a parade, a huge fireworks show, live entertainment, and they even make it snow on Main St.! Where else in Florida can you experience a snow fall for Christmas?
Epcot Center also comes alive at Christmas time. Epcot is great year round with their 11 different country pavilions, but it is even better at Christmas when they have "Holidays Around the World". In one day, you can experience Christmas tradition and culture from Norway, Japan, Mexico, China, Germany, Italy, United States, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada. Epcot also does a "Candlelight Processional" which is a retelling of a Christmas Story with a celebrity narrator accompanied by an orchestra. Unlike Micky's party, this is included with your general admission ticket.
Each year, Disney Hollywood Studio Theme Park has the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights. This is a presentation of million of lights choreographed to music.
Over the past eight years that I have been here, I have become accustomed to Christmas in Florida. I may not have snow to build a snow man, but I also do not have to get up early and shovel my car out of a giant drift either. Hot chocolate is easily replaceable with margaritas and mojitos and I rather like wearing shorts and sandals to work as opposed to mittens and a scarf. Palm trees decorated with Christmas lights do not seem weird anymore, although I will admit the pink flamingos pulling a sleigh still does not sit quite right with me. All in all, Christmas in Florida is not a bad experience at all, it is just different than what most people are used to.