Christmas Florida If you’re in Central Florida, Christmas — the census-designated place — is down the road, too. To be slightly more exact, it’s about 17 miles west of downtown Titusville on State Road 50, in Orange County.
And if you’re looking for the spirit of the season, you might just find it here, the only Christmas in the world with a post office and, most likely, a nearby “World’s Largest Gator” attraction.
It’s not a bustling area, with an estimated population of 1,146 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The median income is $30,455. A “For Sale” sign stands in front of the former Christmas Country Craft ‘n Christmas store, which closed down earlier this year after more than 15 years in business.
But there’s a quiet joy to be found in the simplicity of this tiny Christmas.
Three streets here bear biblical, Christmas-centric names: Bethlehem, Luke and Matthew. Others salute Santa’s four-legged team — Comet Street intersects with Cupid Avenue; Antler Street with St. Nicholas Avenue. There’s not a tiny reindeer in sight, but eight or more horses are in a field where Cupid Avenue ends.
At the corner of State Road 50 and Fort Christmas Road, there’s a permanent Christmas tree, nativity scene, a concrete Santa and a red wooden sleigh. A sign explains that the tree is “a symbol of love and good will; the Christmas Spirit every day in the year.”
The Christmas Grocery and a barber shop are in the same plaza as a shuttered tattoo place.
If you’re into the history of this neck of the Central Florida woods, the well-kept and interesting Fort Christmas Historical Park details the area’s roots, dating to the Seminole Indian War in 1837.
It’s a compact brick building with a Letters to Santa mailbox in the lobby. There’s a tree, too, near a table and counter full of people gussying up holiday cards with post-office-provided rubber stamps of Santa, wreaths and other holiday greetings. You have to leave your driver’s license with a clerk to borrow one of the stampers and an ink pad: People have been known to be quite Grinch-like and steal the stampers.
12 Sites of Christmas
If you’re headed Christmas way, consider this 12 Sites of Christmas to-do list.
The Christmas Post Office. It’s at 23580 E. Colonial Drive (State Road 50). Retail hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. Call 407-568-2941.
Walk through history. Make a pioneering afternoon of it at Fort Christmas Historical Park. The popular “Cracker Christmas” celebration is over for 2017, but enjoy the replicas of the fort, homes and school and learn more about how and why Christmas, Florida, got its name.
Scope street names. Chart all the yuletide roadway monikers, from Reindeer Road and Blitzen Avenue to Luke and Matthew streets.
Step inside Swampy. He’s billed as the World’s Largest Gator. Jungle Adventures, the attraction featuring the 200-foot-long Swampy, is on the north side of State Road 50 just a couple miles east of the post office. OK, he’s a concrete critter. But how can you resist having your photo taken hanging from Swampy’s jaws, flailing your arms between his teeth? Seeing Swampy is free. And then, you can go on that Jungle Adventure, with wildlife show, swamp cruise and gator feeding; prices vary.