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Community / Public space

CityMetric Advent 3: In Christmas, Florida, it's Christmas all year round!

Back in 1837, during a conflict between the native Floridians and the US army known as the second Seminole War, the army built itself a fort. It was finished on Christmas Day, and so, somewhat unimaginatively, they named it Christmas.

After the war ended, the fort became a small town. Almost two hundred years on,  you might think locals would a little sick of Christmas jokes, and would strive to make the town as un-Christmassy as possible (which, you’d imagine, wouldn’t be too difficult in the Sunshine State). But instead, they seem set on making the town unrelentingly festive, all year round. Here’s how. 

Image: RustyClark via Flickr. 

1. Most of the street names are Christmas-related

Streets in the older part of town take traditional religious monikers: Luke Street, Matthew Street, St Nicholas Avenue. Later additions include the more irreverant Comet Street, Cupid Street and Antler Street.

2. People go there just to use the post office

For such a small town, Christmas has quite a large post office. This, it turns out, is because so many people travel to Christmas to post their seasonal cards. Because what’s the point of a Christmas card if it doesn’t have a Christmas postmark?

3. They have a Christmas tree and nativity scene all year round. 

Image: Christmas Airboat Rides.

In case you can’t read it, the sign says:

The permanent Christmas tree at Christmas Florida is the symbol of love and good will: the Christmas Spirit every day in the year.

Also: tourism. 

4. There is a Christmas Museum

… though it’s not very easy to visit. From the town’s single Yelp review:

Christmas pennants hang from every telephone pole, there’s a Christmas trailer park, a perennial fully decorated evergreen tree, religious grottoes, and a small but ominous locked Christmas Museum, apparently open only by appointment. 

Ominous indeed. 

5. There is also “Swampy, the World’s Largest Gator”

Swampy: not actually a real alligator. Image: Mlo0352 at Wikimedia Commons. 


Because not everything’s about Christmas, OK?
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