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Christmas, Florida: The Town Where it’s Always the Holidays

Christmas tree and Santa statue at Fort Christmas in Christmas, Florida
Nativity scene in Christmas, Florida

I’m a sucker for quirky small towns. And Christmas, Florida is no exception. If you’re visiting nearby Orlando, this small community is a convenient drive away and worth the trip, especially if you love a holiday gimmick.

While there isn’t a ton to see in this unincorporated community of slightly more than 1,000 people, it’s a fun stop if you’re passing through the area. Located just twenty miles east of Orlando, Christmas is an easy detour if you’re on your way to the best beaches in Florida for families or the Space Coast. A nativity scene and fake Christmas tree remain decorated all year long. And street signs that read Candy Cane, Frosty, Sleigh Bell, or Christmas Roads make for great photo ops.

Fun fact: Every year thousands of people from all over the country mail their holiday cards to the small town so they can be resent with postmarks from “Christmas.” This unique tradition began in 1930 when postmistress Juanita Tucker started postmarking items “Glory to God in the Highest—Christmas, Orange County, Florida,” according to Weird Florida.

The History of Fort Christmas

Exterior gate of Fort Christmas in Christmas, Florida
Historic marker with plaque at Fort Christmas in Christmas, Florida

Regardless of the time of year, a stop at Fort Christmas in Christmas Park is a must. In December 1837, more than 2,000 U.S. Army Soldiers and Alabama volunteers began constructing the fort, which opened on Christmas Day. This was one of more than 200 forts built during the Second Seminole War, which lasted from 1835 – 1842. According to historic records, the fort was only occupied for a few weeks.

Today the 25-acre park houses a full-scale replica of Fort Christmas as well as a collection of historic buildings and homesteads as well as informational exhibits about the Second Seminole War. Fort Christmas is open 9 am until 4 pm Tuesday through Sunday and is closed on holidays (so visiting on Christmas Day may be festive, but not ideal).

Fort Christmas Historical Park, 1300 N. Fort Christmas Road in Christmas, Florida
Replica of Fort Christmas in Christmas, Florida
Replica cabin at Fort Christmas in Christmas, Florida

World’s Largest Alligator

Swampy the World's Largest Alligator in Christmas, Florida

No road trip would be complete without a world’s largest thing. Weirdly enough, Christmas, Florida is also home to the World’s Largest Alligator. Now the home of Jungle Adventures, Swampy is more than 25 years old and measures 200 feet and one inch long.

Jungle Adventures, 26205 E. Colonial Drive in Christmas, Florida
Swampy the World's Largest Alligator in Christmas, Florida

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Want even more offbeat adventures, roadside attractions and world's largest things? Follow Olio in Iowa on your favorite social media platforms, and tag #OlioOnTheRoad when you have quirky adventures of your own.

Share Your Thoughts

I would love to hear from you! Have you visited a holiday town like Christmas, Florida? What did you think?

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Comments (6)

I just heard this town mentioned on the national news today. It appears that their post office is very busy this time of year. I think I need to visit to meet up with Swampy.

I can only imagine! It’s definitely a fun holiday novelty. Thanks for reading!

How cool! I’m looking to head down to Santa Claus, IN before this week is over!

Santa Claus, Indiana definitely needs to be on my list of places to visit. What a fun, festive town!

How crazy! I’ve never heard of this town, sounds like a cool place to visit!

How fun! I have never heard of Christmas, Florida before. One for the list!

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