December 26, 2012

A Floridian Christmas

Growing up, we didn't know Christmas without snow. And imagining such a Christmas was impossible. Christmas without snow?! That's no Christmas at all! And while I admit that there's no doubt something special about snow at Christmas, and being bundled up by the fire Christmas morning while you open your presents, I can also admit that I did not miss the snow one iota this Christmas. Floridians embrace the magic of Christmas just as much as us cold people up North. The only difference is, you can wear flip flops while out enjoying the Christmas festivities down here.

King's Gate Club goes all out at Christmas. The homes are decorated with lights. The pool is decked out  with lights. The draw bridge is dressed with lights (yes, there is a draw bridge!) and on Christmas Eve, the entire complex is lit up by luminaries. It was absolutely magical and never once did I think to myself, it doesn't feel like Christmas here. (Unfortunately, my photos do not do the magic justice).

Just hangin' out in the manger with baby Jesus.

The theme of this Christmas was definitely LIGHTS. We started out on Friday night by visiting a home open to the public that puts up hundreds of light displays. You walk through their large yard at your own leisure and admire all the different lights. Then just down the road, there's another home that has a HUGE, miniature winter village set up in their garage. (*Ahem*  - I LOVE all things miniature). It was absolutely amazing and I could have looked at it for hours.

The day before Christmas Eve, every home in the club was delivered luminaries to set out the next night. For anyone not spending Christmas in the club, their neighbours put out and lit their luminaries for them. The luminaries were white paper bags filled with a bit of sand and then a candle inside. This was probably my most favourite light related thing I've ever seen. It was a beautiful, calm night on Christmas Eve and it was so pretty walking the streets around the club amidst the path of lights. The luminaries burn well into the night and then they are gone by morning which adds even more magic to the whole event.

The luminaries - all 1200 of them - were lined up on both sides of the roads in the club.

We spent Christmas day with lots of family and we all enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner that everyone pitched in to make. Jim's aunt and uncle, Ethel and Keith also have a home in the club here, as do Keith's sister and family. While my family and Jim's sister, brother-in-law and nephews were all tremendously missed, it was a lovely day spent with people we love.

The beautiful table set by Jim's aunt, Ethel.

Jim and Ethel; me and my father-in-law, John; John and Jim's cousin, Laura.

Full bellies for everyone!

To all my family and friends: Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day! I hope your Christmases were wonderful, wherever they may have been spent! 


  1. Merry Christmas Brie! It looks like your Christmas was wonderful and lots of fun. I, too, had no snow for Christmas, as I was in Victoria visiting my family for Christmas. It was a little strange, since we were in Alberta for Christmas last year, but still wonderful in its own way. Lots of rain and wind though!

  2. Merry Christmas! All the lights are SO PRETTY.

  3. Merry Christmas, Brie! It would be strange for me without snow, I've been in Edmonton for every Christmas except for one year, where I went to Las Vegas and there was a rain storm. Haha, glad to see you're having so much fun though!

  4. Love the Florida Christmas! I hate having a no-snow Christmas, but the lights must have made up for it ... and I love luminaries! So pretty. :) Your dinner looks fantastic!