If you’re a full-time RVer, do you carry holiday decorations on board? Everywhere we’ve traveled during the season, it seems like the people who have always loved to celebrate the holidays in a big way continue to do it even when they transition into a house on wheels. I’m not one of these holiday elves, but I sure do enjoy the various ways that they manage to show their spirit in RV parks and campgrounds. Their decorations are also a timely reminder that no matter how far we run or how hard we try to escape civilization, the holidays are a milestone marker that the year is coming to a close and winter is truly upon us.
If you’re thinking of full-timing, take heart and know that you can keep on ringing those sleigh bells and decking the halls (or at least your awning). One of the best space-saving decorations to carry in a rig is décor that you can use year round, like twinkly lights that look dazzling whether they’re on a Christmas tree or a swaying palm. If you want to decorate in a bigger way with traditional items like garland and even inflatable Santas, consider buying them dirt cheap at your nearest thrift shop, which I guarantee will have tons of recycled holiday décor waiting for a new temporary home. Later when the holidays are over, you can give them back to the thrift store, or maybe donate them to the RV park clubhouse.
RVers celebrate the holidays in all sorts of crazy, scenic ways. Check into any RV park and you’ll find the holiday spirit is merry and bright. We first realized that full-time RVers don’t have to give up holiday celebrations when we spent our first winter in Florida. One warm, sunny morning while waiting for the space shuttle to launch at a Cape Canaveral RV park, a fire engine rolled into the park. Thinking that some RVer was having a really bad day, we looked outside and were greeted with a wailing siren and happy waves from a full-bellied Santa leading the park’s Christmas parade. As the fire engine merrily meandered through the park playing Christmas carols over the bullhorn, the scene was even more surreal than the Southern California palm tree Christmases I grew up with.
Through the years we’ve seen plenty of RVers deck the awnings with garland, twinkly lights and inflatable lawn ornaments. I’ve often wondered where these happy revelers manage to keep their decorations in the RV, and how many patient husbands grumbled about surrendering precious cargo space to their wives Christmas decorations. My own husband should count himself lucky – we’ve never had that argument, since we both agreed that every inch of our little 24′ fifth wheel was too valuable to store a heap of things that would only get used for a few weeks each year. Now that we have a slightly larger RV, I’m a little more tempted to keep a shoebox of Christmas décor but no time soon. Until then Jim and I will just celebrate the holidays in our usual way with cheery mugs of fortified hot cider and other tasty adult beverages!