Merry Christmas! And no, I haven’t lost my mind. I’m in Denali National Park, and today we are celebrating Christmas!
For those of you who aren’t national park junkies, Christmas is celebrated in parks across the country on August 25th.
You see, many years ago there was a terrible snowstorm in Yellowstone National Park. Visitors were stranded in the lodges and to pass the time, they gathered around the fire and told stories and sang songs. It felt so much like Christmas Eve that they all decided to celebrate Christmas the next morning on August 25th.
In my mind, I picture the guests raiding the kitchen to steal tinfoil to make ornaments, but I’m not sure how realistic that is, considering either they were in a small lodge and probably didn’t have tinfoil or they were in a big commercial lodge and health regulations wouldn’t allow guests to set foot in the kitchen.
But tinfoil aside, that snowstorm created a beautiful tradition that continues to this day. It’s a time to celebrate the love and magic of the holidays with our park family. So, on this Christmas Day, take a moment to appreciate whatever natural beauty you can find. Even if it’s only a tree growing on a city sidewalk. Today, we celebrate life in nature. Merry Christmas!
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