This year, I have had the absolute best Christmas I have ever had. I’ve spent the past month and a half cuddling with a warm mug full of mulled wine all over Prague and Nuremberg. I’ve seen snow flurries blanket a festive holiday market. I’ve bought ornaments and Christmas cookies and been on trains that are decorated with tinsel. I’ve seen carolers at public squares and in train stations. And I’ve been surrounded by really happy people in holiday sweaters and hats for weeks.
Then I flew into Miami, and since then, I keep forgetting that Christmas hasn’t already happened. This city is devoid of Christmas spirit. Don’t get me wrong. It’s been lovely to be home and decorate trees and get together with loved ones to eat and exchange gifts. But outside of my own private gatherings, Christmas doesn’t really exist here.
How Miami Killed the Holiday Spirit
For one, it’s hot as fuck. And Christmas is supposed to be a time where it’s cold, where you can wear cute knit sweaters and cuddle with someone you love. It’s when you have fires and Christmas decorations to bring the light back into the dark winter months. And nothing feels less like Christmas than wearing a tank top and shorts and having your thighs stick to the seat of your car.
Secondly, and maybe most importantly, everyone is in a bad mood. Whereas Christmas ushers in a time of peace and merriment in countries in Europe (and some cities in the US), no one is more pissed off than a Miami resident doing their holiday shopping on the 20th of December. People here don’t come together in public to celebrate the season and eat and enjoy the decorations. They come together to literally bitch each other the fuck out. I went to Target for wrapping paper (because I bought all my gifts abroad and online), and in the 10 minutes I was there, I saw 3 major arguments.
Miami’s public displays of Christmas cheer are seriously lacking. This is a sprawling hellhole of a city so there aren’t many walkable areas where one can go see nicely decorated stalls or buy stocking stuffers. Or even congregate around a nice tree. I went to Miami Beach on my second day here in search of a more festive atmosphere and found one tiny part of Lincoln Road with a tree, a nativity, and a menorah. That’s it. Here’s all your cheer, you filthy animals.
Another way in which Christmas sucks in Miami is that holiday events cost money. Christmas abroad is celebrated by everyone because it’s celebrated out in the open. If you want a dose of Christmas in Miami, you have to pay to go to places like Santa’s Enchanted Forest, which costs $31 to enter and includes all the rides you can handle before you throw up. Or maybe you can go see The Nutcracker at the Miami City Ballet.
I guess you can also go to Dolphin Mall to see the “magical snowfall” at Ramblas Plaza. It’s free, but you actually pay for it with the two hours of your life it’ll take you to find parking there.
Visiting Miami to skip the holidays
As disappointing as it is to be somewhere without Christmas, Miami is a perfect holiday destination for a specific type of traveler: People who hate the holidays. The holidays can be difficult and depressing for a lot of people. Have you lost a someone important to you? Do you feel lonely and unloved? Do you hate your life?
Then come hate your life in Miami! Everyone here finds the holidays to be a major inconvenience so you’ll feel right at home. It’s a great place to visit if you want to pretend that it’s June and you didn’t just get divorced and lose custody of your kids.
You can come kick back on the fluffy sands of Miami Beach and let yourself forget it’s Christmas. You don’t have to buy anything for anyone, and you shouldn’t because all shopping places are a nightmare. You don’t have to be surrounded by happy families and cute couples. All those people are in their cars in traffic cursing at you for not knowing how to drive.
It’s great because everything is open. Whereas some more traditional cities close up shop on Christmas Day, we wouldn’t dream of it. Once you’re done with your Christmas shopping, you begin your Christmas returns. And the employees that are not allowed to see their families are all ready for you at stores and restaurants all over the city.
If you really want to forget all about Christmas, go celebrate Christmas Eve at Liv and Christmas Day at the Fontainebleau pool party. You will wake up on the morning of the 26th hungover as hell and ready to roll it over into New Year’s Eve.