Just like the folks with stick-houses, we RVers have dug out our Christmas holiday decorations and have begun converting our home-on-wheels to mobile winter wonderlands.
When my family first became Full-Timers we went crazy with the outdoor Christmas lights (we even won a campground decorating contest in Florida one year!), but since we have been travelling 20,000 miles a year, we decided that we would rather have food in our cabinets than a small herd of lighted reindeer.
Yet we have Full-Timing friends who rent small storage sheds at their seasonal RV parks just to store their decorations! One set of friends had their little storage shed literally blown apart during a Florida hurricane. They were in Canada for the summer and we went to retrieve as much of their property we could. I remember their poor plastic Santa being stuck up in a pine tree!
So no matter how much we downsize and simplify, we just cannot shake the holiday hold of decorating. (Including the woman a few campsites down from us ~ she has a flamingo dressed in a Santa costume!)
Most campgrounds are very festive places to spend the holidays. Those in areas with a large concentration of snowbirds (Florida, Texas, Arizona) often have many activities going on. Some activities include: decorating contests, caroling, candle and tree lighting’s, potluck dinners, gift exchanges, ornament and decoration craft classes, local charity sponsorship, toy and food drives and bus or day trips to see light displays, holiday performances, theme parks or shopping centers.
The majority of our Full-Timing friends in Florida have family visit them from out-of-state. They either pitch a tent or bring their own RV (or rental) or rent a cabin or villa inside the RV resort. Children of all ages can be found (and trying their very best to be good!) at campgrounds during the holidays.
We have always enjoyed the carolling. Not many places these days have folks go door-to-door (or in our case, campsite-to-campsite) to sing holiday songs to their friends and neighbors.
Potlucks and holiday dinners and dances are formed. Most are free, but occasionally some campgrounds charge small fees to help pay for meat or musical entertainment. Many we have been to the last few years just go by “Pass the Hat” and folks throw in a few dollars to help pay for the costs of the event.
RVers also remember those in need. Many seasonal campgrounds host toy or food drives or have their own campground clubs volunteer for local charities. We may not all have much ourselves, but we know that we have more than most.
Some campgrounds have a special service for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. There are several RV resorts with their own non-denominational weekly services. We have attended services like these and although the surroundings aren’t as elaborate as churches, they still host a reminder for the reason for the season.
Although Seasonal and Full-Time RVers come from all walks of life, we remember one thing – we are neighbors. We come together and wish each other a season of happiness and goodwill (and, of course, with an exchange of cards, candies or cookie plates).
Did I mention the cookies? Oh, yes! Our little camper ranges and ovens are fully functional and that won’t stop us from whipping up dozens of candies and cookies to friends and neighbors.
Overall campgrounds can be a fun and festive place to spend the holidays as we are all united in the spirit of the season.