I just received an email from my good friend who lives in New York City, where it’s currently 25 degrees out (feels like 12 degrees with the wind chill). Suddenly, I felt like I needed to take off my sweater. 69 degrees isn’t so cold is it?
My friend’s email snarfily hinted that I must be sad that I never see a white Christmas and surely the “melting temperatures” couldn’t possibly bring on a Christmas feel. [Note: “Hmmmm…” I think as I open my sliding glass doors to air out my house.]
With the exception of a few Christmases spent skiing in Colorado, I have never known a white Christmas, and so such is not necessary to bring sugar plums to dance in my head. All that is needed is a few seasonal mall decorations, holiday music, and Christmas lights hung with care. [Note: I could do without the blow up Santa sleighs and snowmen. I have yet to see one of those actually add to the decor.]
So, I started thinking back to my holiday memories, almost exclusive to Central Florida. We Floridians have a strange shared existence here in the Sunshine State. We proudly go fishing at night, string lights on palm trees and paint pictures of flamingos in Santa hats. We ravage overly-decorated malls despite hearing horrid renditions of Christmas carols, we both love and despise Disney depending on our mood and reasoning, and we hide from the sun while giggling at our European tourists baking to a lobster red. We encourage tolerance for all religions yet complain when it says “Push 1 for English.” We hold heated discussions over monorails, Light Rails, Tim Tebow and Bobby Bowden. We Floridians are an odd bunch, no?
But regardless of our varied beliefs, backgrounds, and collegiate affiliations, there are some wintertime happenings that fortunately unite us. Here are some of my Florida memories; perhaps you, too, have experienced some of them:
- Tanning at New Smyrna Beach on Christmas Day [Note: This was before sun was bad for you.]
- Driving behind Whole Foods in Winter Park to see the neighborhood filled with amazing Christmas lights
- Drinking hot cocoa at Mickey’s Merry Christmas Party
- Having orange wars in the front yard with nearly frozen fruit [Note: Ouch!]
- Immediately trying out new Christmas gifts such as roller skates, bikes, etc. in the driveway dressed in shorts and a t-shirt
- Listening to the gorgeous Bach Festival Choir while strolling among Tiffany stained glass windows
- Freezing while sliding down an ice slide at ICE!
- Watching the Tangerine Bowl (Citrus Bowl) Parade in its seasonal and collegiate spirit
- Dressing in winter cap, scarf, and sweater to take a “seasonal” photo to send relatives…and then sweating!
- Putting water into a ziplock and cleverly calling it melted snow [Note: Yeah, it was funnier when I was young.]
- Donating to Toys-for-Tots while singing, “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay…”
- Sticking reindeer antlers on my dogs…and then my cats
- Laughing at rubber reindeer poop [Note: Still funny even now that I’m older.]
- Pretending the soapy snow flakes drifting down at Celebration were real snow flakes
- Listening to 24-7 Christmas music on 107.7
- Sitting high up in a tree looking for a lighted nose and sleigh until my mom made me come in
- Wondering how Santa was actually getting into my house since we had no chimney. [Note: I was very creative with my solutions, one of which included a very well-trained squirrel!]
What are some of your holiday memories? I hope you have some wonderful ones. And, the Central Florida Top 5 wishes you and your family a fabulous holiday season. Please enjoy this video that highlights Christmas in Florida. [Note: I am sending it to my NY friend…ha!]