Best Christmas Cities for Children

In the minds of children–and lots of adults–Christmas morning should be snowy and cold. What could be better than waking Christmas day to stockings stuffed to overflowing, presents piled beneath the tree, and then later, trying out some of your new toys with other kids?

The Martin Prosperity Institute, the world’s leading think-tank on the role of sub-national factors – location, place and city-regions – in global economic prosperity, has developed a list of the 20 best cities to be on Christmas day. The Institute looked at four criteria: (1) the over-abundance of other children in the region; (2) the number of toy and game stores per capita; (3) the number of candy stores per capita; and (4) the probability of having snow on Christmas Day.

Well, I’m saddened to say that not a single Southern state made the list. Although I’ve never spent Christmas anywhere but South Carolina, I think the South is a pretty good place to spend Christmas and I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be. So, I’m not singing the lyrics “It’s December the 24th and I’m longing to be up North . . . ” I’m not and I never will!

I love my Northern friends, but I don’t want to live in a place where it snows all winter. I think snow is beautiful, but day-to-day life seems to be a whole lot easier in the absence of it. As far as the other criteria, they sound pretty cool and I can see why they would make a city kid-friendly.

The truth is that no matter where we live, we reflect on the Christmases of our childhoods and long to be there (or somewhere that reminds us of that place and time). So whether or not your city made the list of Best Christmas Cities for Children, I hope you’re spending Christmas day with the people you love and cherish. And if you gotta have snow, maybe you can convince Uncle Harry to climb on the roof and sprinkle down some flour or something.

Merry Christmas all from the sunny state of South Carolina! May your Christmas be merry and bright–and white if that’s what you really, really want!

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