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Florida doesn’t do anything by the book -- that includes celebrating the holidays. So this season, WUSF is extolling all the ways to enjoy the holidays with a Florida twist... and we want your input.Tell us about your Florida holiday tradition. Does your family take part in a lighted boat parade, lace up for a jingle bell run or spend New Year’s Eve making sand sculptures?Then there are the decorations. Show us your seashell ornaments, palm trees wrapped in lights and flamingoes in Santa hats.We want your recipes, too. Do you dress your gingerbread men in Bermuda shorts or dip your latkes in Key lime jelly?And how to do show out-of-town guests a good time in the warm weather? Do you take them caroling down the beach or spend all eight nights of Hanukkah at Disney?Get creative. Share your photos, videos, recipes, tweets, memories, short essays and anything else that would make us say, “That’s so Florida!”Your submission might end up on wusfnews.org/floridaholidays... or even on the radio.Here are some ways to join the fun:Post a photo or short story on our wall at Facebook.com/WUSF.Send a tweet to @WUSF with the hashtag #floridaholidays.Leave a phone message for WUSF reporter/producer Dalia Colón at (813) 974-8636.Email Dalia at daliacolon@wusf.org.We’ll collect your submissions through Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. Check this blog daily for new content, and listen WUSF 89.7 through the end of the year to hear how your fellow Floridians celebrate the season.

Florida Holidays: Christmas Morning Mimosas

Dinner Series
Flickr Creative Commons

Here's an email we received from listener Beth Daniels:

I loved the radio piece about the smoked mullet gifts that friends look forward to with such relish.  It made me think of my own special Florida tradition. 

Being born and raised in St. Pete, I love a nice sunny Christmas Day. As I went away to college and met more and more folks from other climates, I grew tired of people always saying, “Oh, don’t you miss the snow?” or “What is Christmas without snow in the fir trees?”

Last time I checked, there were a lot more palm trees than evergreens and snow in Bethlehem. Just sayin'.

Anyway, I have always been proud of my full-fledged "Cracker" roots. So, when I moved back here for good in 1979 and bought my first little house in Clearwater, it was in an old grove area and had a back yard full of mature citrus trees.

I got really fond of pruning and taking care of the trees so that they produced tons of great fruit. There was nothing prettier than those trees with all the fruit getting brighter orange by the day as Christmas approached. I strung up colored lights all throughout the backyard, and the growing fruit looked like orange ball ornaments all over the trees.

Then and there, I started a tradition that no one could pick any of my oranges until Christmas Day. You have to hope for just enough chilly nights leading up to the holidays to sweeten them properly. Christmas morning, I get out the juicer, take a basket out and go pick the fresh oranges.

With the champagne (or Asti Spumante works well, too) already chilled, now it is time to make fresh mimosas. Now that’s what I say makes for a merry and thoroughly Florida Christmas morning.

That’s my story, and if you are in my house on Christmas, that’s the way it has to be done.   

What tropical food or drink is a must-have on your holiday table? As part of ourFlorida Holidays series, email reporter/producer Dalia Colón at daliacolon@wusf.org.

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