In the middle of Florida is a town called Christmas. In December, people drive hours to come to this no stop light town to get their Christmas cards postmarked by the post office, as if Santa sent them himself. The streets are appropriately named Reindeer Way, St. Nicholas Avenue, Comet Street and there’s a decorated Christmas tree on a prominent corner year round.
But this tiny little town houses a couple of non-holiday related gems. The Orlando Wetlands Park – a favorite of mine to connect with natural Florida, alligators and all – and Ft. Christmas, a piece of property frozen in time and lovingly tended. While the buildings have been restored to the proper period, decorated sparingly, but beautifully and the harvesting implements appropriately rusted, the fort still maintains a community garden, complete with chickens. It is also home to expansive picnic grounds and tennis courts. It’s a great place to spend a day.
Luckily for me, they are about a mile apart from each other and less than 30 minutes from my home.