Featured, Stories from the Road

December | A Christmas Miracle

Christmas is one of my favorite seasons, because it’s a season of transformation. Delabitated, but quaint, little town squares are transformed to winter wonderlands. Store windows entice with massive trees, glitter, and decorations to echo the nostalgia of years ago. Schedules are crammed packed with parties, drinking your weight in eggnog, and winter snows are still welcomed. It’s the season of hope, possibilities, and new adventures.
I had the privilege of growing up in a quaint town in New England, always covered with snow, paralleling a Norman Rockwell painting every December 25
Then I moved to Phoenix.
The very thought of no snow on Christmas broke my spoiled heart. It was so foreign to wear shorts on Christmas, string lights on the palm tree in my side yard, and the closest thing to chopping down a real tree was pulling a evergreen car air freshener near the plastic tree.
Then a friend pointed out one fun fact I never knew about: Turns out Phoenix is where those crazy Christmas light competitions happen and curiosity got me.
 Entire neighborhoods are transformed by synchronized light displays to Carol of the Bells, pools transformed into the Arctic Ocean scene from Rudolph, and cactus dance to the beat of our homegirl T Swift. We even went into two families’ homes who decorate every single room chock full of holiday paraphernalia. We spent almost every weeknight traveling across the valley to see hundreds of houses outfitted with small armies of inflatables and Griswald level lights.
Ironically, I went back to New England for Christmas Day that year and it was 65 degrees out, while parts of Phoenix got snow, albeit a few tiny flakes.
These new memories enticed my understanding of what Christmas could look like-one riding around in the car with the window’s down so you can drink hot chocolate without sweating, seeing a tumbleweed Christmas tree, and watching Christmas movies in your makeshift backyard theater.
Cherish this sweet season of hope dear friends. Find the sweet local cultural attractions and you never quite know what sweet holiday memories are waiting around the bend. It took me four years to figure out this crazy Christmas light wonderland, so just think of what could be lurking in your own backyard.
Alysha Moroni is the Editor in Chief of Atlas Addict Quarterly. 
featured image by Thomas Kelley via Unsplash 

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