Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Desert Christmas

What I left in Michigan...
So, I'm a little late on the Christmas post (by the way - Happy New Year!), but I wanted to chime in. I know this blog is midwest-based, but last year I experienced something unique. I spent my Christmas in the desert. I wasn't riding around on camels or anything, but I ventured outside of the tundra to spend the holidays with my family in Las Vegas.


There's a different vibe to Christmas when you're in the desert. People sing about winter wonderlands and dream about a white Christmas, but they can't handle anything below 40 degrees. It made me chuckle because I had to drive through a blizzard to even make it west. No kidding - all flights were cancelled in/out of my airport, so we drove four hours, just beating the snow, to make the trip. White outs, snow drifts, ice. I left a white Christmas for this. Their delicate sensitivities humor me.

Christmas lights on desert rocks.
Anyway, I made it to Vegas and truly enjoyed the experience (though it would be hard no to enjoy my niece and nephew!). Vegas has its wintery perks: no boots, shovels, or frost bite. Without the snow, lots of people hang lights - whole neighborhoods get into the spirit! Churches have Christmas Eve services outside. Kids who get bikes and scooters for Christmas can ride them the same day. That would have been a fun treat when I was growing up!

There are some things I just haven't gotten used to, though. A hot, egg nog latte just isn't the same when it's 50 degrees. Part of the fun of a tall, holiday coffee is to thaw your fingers. It's just not the same when you're not even wearing socks. And all of the lights are beautiful, but odd on cacti and palm trees.

The view from the top of the Cosmopolitan.
Hands down the most unique experience was ice skating on top of the Cosmopolitan hotel. That's right. I'll give you a second to re-read that. The Cosmo covers up one of their pools and sets up a miniature ice skating rink. It's actually cold enough to do it! Talk about a confidence builder - very few of the desert folk could skate very well. I'm not very good, but I sure felt like a pro out there. My niece wasn't a fan, though. She was born and raised in the desert. She didn't mind losing her balance of falling, but she hated that the ice was cold and wet - one trip was enough for her.

My niece, waiting to get our ice skates!
I certainly had a good time celebrating Christmas and New Year's Day out west, but I was also happy to get home. There's just something nice about sweats, a big fluffly blanket, and warming up with a cup of hot chocolate.

Where do you usually spend Christmas? Have you ever gone someplace different?

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the desert-eye view of Christmas, Karin. We in the Midwest get the best of it, don't we? We aren't stuck merely dreaming of a White Christmas, we get to live it!

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  2. It's fun to try something different!

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  3. It was a good time, but I'm glad to be home :)

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  4. We were in Florida once for Christmas. I just couldn't get my brain wrapped around it. It was like eating oranges while smelling onions - very confusing. Give me the cold, snow and frozen snot sickles anyday. Loved your winter pictures.

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  5. Loved your niece turning up her nose at cold, wet ice. Too funny.

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