The holidays can be a very busy time of the year, even in a little town like Fairbanks. It didn't go below -20 degrees the entire month of December so people were out doing their shopping all over town.
Internet plays a big role in the holidays here but not as much as crafts do. It might be a hold over from the pre-computer/paved roads era or just an inner fiber of Fairbankans but everyone owns hand-made local goods. The best place to shop here is the Ornamentary for those things. Its a special place because its only open two times a year. Christmas & Easter. I went there to see what I can see & there were the goods that I saw in everyone elses house. I thought my mother would love the quilted, halibut pot holders but the lady in line infront of me got the last two.
Another big event is the Winter Solstice. Back in Denver, my friend Juliet & I would try to go to Red Rocks Amphlitheatre every year to watch the sun come up. I say try because most years it was a phonecall around 6am telling each other that one of us wasn't getting out of bed. This year I just looked out my window at the office around 11:25am to watch the sunrise. That's right, & sunset is around 3:30pm. [SIDE NOTE: I felt like a rock star yesterday. I slept in til 1pm, woke up, finished a movie & then made breakfast. I hope you can comprehend how cool I felt having breakfast at sunset. Rockstar!] Anyhow, winter solstice in Fairbanks is when we have fireworks, people exchange gifts & the local custom of launching FLBs. FLBs are Flying Laundry Bags. At the party, people go out side & launch laundry bags over wooden cages with candles inside & they fly off!
I ended up spending my holidays with my parents down in Florida. They helped me get some supplies. So I'm set on bellydancing costumes & grits for the rest of the year. We went to the beach & asian food. Plus we went to the Dry Tortugas on a catamaran. Wonderful masonry fort, warm sun & my first time snorkeling. Snorkeling is not easy if you are not a natural mouth breather. The ride back to Key West was hilarious. We had 10 ft swells so half of the people were puking off the back of the boat. Schmitz's have strong stomachs so when we arrived back in Key West we went to have Key Lime Margaritas & Dolphin Enchilatas.