The season of the ho-ho-ho's, presents, and a Christmas feast with family and friends is upon us.
Around this time of the year, people become almost childlike again, homes are filled with families laughing around a crackling fire, houses are engulfed in spectacular arrays of twinkling lights and, of course, stores and markets are filled with cheerful crowds searching for that perfect present.
It is also a time when Americans across the country are gearing up to travel to beloved destinations to celebrate with loved ones. Although it is well-known that Christmas is celebrated differently throughout the world, it might surprise you to learn that every state in America also has its own way of welcoming the season.
Some of these celebrations are quirky, some are charming, and some are downright funny! If you are looking for something a little extra special and unique this Christmas, consider some of these wonderful destinations, and join in the festivities.
1. A Sandy Christmas - Florida
Sculptors in West Palm Beach, Florida somehow accomplish the near impossible undertaking of building a 600-ton Christmas tree made completely out of sand. 600 tons!
Amazing as this sounds, it takes them less than a week. Not only that, they also manage to build four more 25 ton sand sculptures to complete what they call their "tropical winter wonderland."
2. Santa Village - Indiana
Have you ever dreamt of a career of sliding down chimneys, eating free cookies, and sorting more mail than any other person on the planet? If this sounds like you, then Santa Claus, Indiana is your next destination.
The town celebrates Christmas all year round but goes into overdrive by mid-November. Everything in this village is based on the Christmas season, from the Santa Candy Castle to the post office. Yes, even the post office is part of the Christmas celebration.
In fact, people from all over the country send their letters here to be read and answered by Santa. They also have Santa training for eager wannabes who want to be jolly and pleasant!
3. A North Pole Train Ride - New Hampshire
In Lincoln and North Conway, New Hampshire, free train rides are offered for those who want to venture to the North Pole.
Sit back and enjoy the scenery as the train winds through a magical Christmas land. You will experience all the wonders of the North Pole, and even meet Old Saint Nick himself, at the end of the journey.
4. Christmas Place - Tennessee
Holiday travelers out to get the most of Christmas would fit right in at the Christmas Inn located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
The four-star hotel, decked in and out with extravagant Christmas decor is famous for its month-long Christmas celebration. Plus, they also have some unique offerings including a singing Santa and a visit from the great-great-great-great grandson of Charles Dickens.
5. Big Store Shopping Galore - Michigan
Brace yourself for a fantastic sight when you stop to shop in Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
The store has become famous and is referred to as "world's largest Christmas store" which isn't a big surprise to anyone who comes to visit. The store has a size of 1 ½ football fields that includes a 0.8 kilometer Christmas Lane! If you can't find all your Christmas decorations here, you can't find them anywhere.
6. Christmas Town - North Carolina
Every year this small town comes alive with lights, cameras, and action. This small town in McAdenville, North Carolina has rightfully earned the name of Christmas Town, USA.
The town boast twinkling lights on 375 trees, a life size Nativity, and 200 wreaths wrapped around the lampposts.
The total number of lights is well over 500,000, which is also the number of visitors this small town of 700 attracts each year. Named on the Top 10 Christmas Destinations list, it is one of the most photographed displays in the country.
7. Christmas - New York
Not to be outdone, New York has the biggest, brightest, most stunning holiday displays during the holiday season.
From the giant Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center to Bryant Park's Winter Wonderland, New York dazzles the eye! Spectacular performances from the Nutcracker Ballet Troupe to the Radio City Rockettes will make for a spectacularly memorable Christmas.
8. A Capital Christmas - Washington DC
Washington has its own way of welcoming Christmas and it never disappoints. A massive tree lighting takes place at the Ellipse on a historical Balsam Fir that stands 48 feet tall.
Notable singers and performers grace the lighting as the Christmas season is ushered in. It is a great experience for the entire family.
With so much holiday spirit going on all across the nation, it can be tough to choose where to go for a festive celebration. Perhaps it is one of those lists that needs to be added to your bucket list, and worked through one at a time until you enjoy them all. The most important thing is - wherever you tend to spend the holiday - make it warm, wonderful, and memorable with your family and friends. Merry Christmas everyone!
Where in the US is your favorite holiday celebration?