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Surviving the not-so-snowy season


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  I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, but for better or for worse, Florida will not be granting us a snowy winter. Whether warm weather is your December dream or nightmare, it is a fact of life for Floridians.

  “Florida winter is very inconsistent,” science teacher Carrie Lopez said. “Once in a while it’s cold, and then the next day it’s 80 degrees outside. It drives me crazy: like what do I wear?”

  Florida winter does not live up to junior Liam O’Connor’s holiday expectations.

  “I think [Florida winter] is boring,” O’Connor said. “I’m the type of person who likes to feel the seasons. It is nice that it doesn’t get drastically cold, but I love snow. I love skiing and snowballs and the typical white Christmas that we tend to romanticize.”

  Still, not everyone has such strong feelings against Florida winter. In fact, many students enjoy its leniency.

  “I like to think of winter here as fall,” senior Rachael Pisarski said. “I like it because I get to wear my sweaters that I can’t wear during the rest of the year.”

  Sophomore Isabella Garganese also admires the convenience of winter in Florida.

  “It’s nice because you don’t have to walk around in bundles of clothes,” Garganese said. “It gets just cold enough so you can sit outside and enjoy the pleasant weather.”

  No matter your stance on Florida winter, there are several ways to make the most of it.

  For example, many Floridians decide to embrace the heat positively. From going to the beach to spending time by the pool, Florida offers unconventional holiday activities.

  “I’ve spent Christmas at the beach three times,” senior Jenna DeBell said. “We go to bonfires and roast marshmallows and pretend it’s actually cold outside. One time, we even built a snowman out of sand.”

  Though Lopez has never spent the holiday at the beach, she has memories of Christmas by the poolside.

  “It was so hot last year that we could actually hang out at the pool on Christmas Day,” Lopez said. “It was ridiculous.”

  If you crave cold weather and are looking for an excuse to slip on a sweater, Central Florida offers several attractions that make it feel like the classic chilly December.

  “I go ice-skating and we always go see Santa at Disney Springs,” Garganese said. “We also like to decorate our house to make it feel festive and full of the holiday spirit.”

  The University of Central Florida hosts Light Up UCF every winter. Light Up UCF contains an outdoor ice-skating rink, a light show, a film festival and a holiday market. The event, which is open through January 7, is sure to provide frosty fun.

  “Sometimes [my family goes] to Light Up UCF because there’s actually ice there and you can go down the ice slide,” Lopez said.

  Winter Park’s Park Avenue hosts the annual ‘Winter in the Park,’ a holiday celebration with an ice-skating rink for all ages and skill levels.

  “Ice skating at Park Avenue is definitely a highlight for me,” O’Connor said.

  Gaylord Palms Resort provides yet another excuse to bundle up in Florida. The luxury hotel is the home of ICE!; a holiday attraction with over two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures, four ice slides, and a live carving zone; all of which is kept at nine degrees. This year’s theme is “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and depicts the story of Charles Schulz’s beloved characters through ice sculptures.

  Of course, in the end, some things are more important than the weather, or lack thereof.

  “[The holidays] are where your family is, not where the weather is,” O’Connor said. “I think the holiday season is what you make out of it.”

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Surviving the not-so-snowy season