Merry Christmas 2018

a beautiful christmas tree surrounded in snow he gay travel
By Cliff Locke

Christmas has always been a magical time for me. My whole family used to get together and spend the holiday season together.  However, now with most of us so busy with our own lives and our parents being gone, it seems like we all just do our own thing.  It’s funny because I do not like staying in my current home of Michigan for the winter. The snow and cold have never been a favorite part of living in the Winter Wonderland state.

If you wanted to travel here, there are many things to see and do in the winter.  Downhill skiing is a major part of winter in Michigan.  There are various ski slopes throughout the lower and upper peninsulas.  If you are a cross country skier there are many trails for doing just that.  The men of my family were big on ice fishing. It’s funny how they would get up at the crack of dawn to go out and sit on the ice trying to catch a fish.  And of course there is always snowmobiling.  It’s a great pastime that I loved in my youth, but again it’s a cold activity!!

When I lived in Celebration, Florida, the town that Disney built, I remember the city flaunting the fact that it snows in the town square.  And as a kid I remember singing a song about Santa using zebras to pull his Christmas Sleigh, because boy in Africa wrote to him asking him to come there to deliver toys.  Doesn’t Santa already go there?  Why does he need zebras? Don’t the reindeer take him all over the world?  These are questions I probably shouldn’t worry about…but then I do!!

I have also thought about traveling to cities or towns that have some relationship to Christmas.  There is a town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula named Christmas.  You can have your picture taken with a giant roadside Santa.  There is a Noel, Missouri where you can send you Christmas cards to have them post marked Noel.  And the ever popular Santa Claus, Indiana.  I wanted to send all my cards to the North Pole to have them postmarked North Pole and people would think they were from Santa himself.  Or would they?

Another place I would love to visit during the holiest season is where the whole Christmas story began…Bethlehem.   It’s a town just south of Jerusalem and the birth place of Jesus.  The spot is marked by an inlaid silver star in a grotto under the Church of the Nativity.  This would be an awesome pilgrimage and an experience I would remember forever.

As you consider traveling to whatever destination is on your list, whether it be to see the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem or Snow in Celebration, Florida or snowmobiling in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, just remember that traveling anytime is a rejuvenating experience.  I wish you all the Merriest Christmas and the very best New Year’s.  Travel safely this holiday season!