I love the holiday season in Florida. There is nothing cooler on planet Earth than stepping outside on an eighty degree November Saturday morning and watching a Puerto Rican guy string lights over a palm tree, set out a Santa on his roof (only after dressing St. Nick up in a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses) while I sip a screwdriver and tan. It’s like coming to work and finding a fresh Pina Colada sitting atop your inbox. Except the Florida Holiday Season actually happens.

In Miami, they have a winter carnival, complete with a pig tossing event. I’d go in more detail, but hell, just google it. I can’t write about that any better than Dave Barry did.

My buddy Big Mike throws an annual Thanksgiving party for those of us who don’t go back north for Thanksgiving break. We sit around a pool listening to football, sucking on beers while Mike and his flavor of the month take care of the kitchen details. Ah, Florida.

I love going to Clearwater Beach in December and listening to some of the Reggae bands play Christmas carols. “The Little Drummer Boy” is awesome Rasta style. Trust me on that.

I love it when the college kids clear out for break, and I can go up to a bar on a football Sunday and play cards with the bartender while bitching about the Buccaneers.

But mainly I love how good it feels to come back home, after three or four days in St. Louis, and go straight from the airport to the beach, stick my toes in the sand, look up at the sun drenched sky and thank God that it will be another 12 months until I put on a winter jacket again.

One winter, I told my buddy Anton that the Midwest was God’s country.

“Yeah, and he can keep it,” replied Anton.

And our laughter drowned out the sounds of his children playing in his pool on a seventy degree December day.

Ho ho ho, indeed.