This weekend reminded me (yet again) why I love it here, even with all the annoying Facebook posts by people jetting off to Paris or Colorado or New York. Friday night I wandered across the street to Briny Breezes with my beach chair and plopped myself down in front of the seawall to watch the Boynton-Delray boat parade. There were boats blaring Christmas carols, tall masts wrapped in a million lights, Santa and his reindeer launching off more than one bow. There was a damp breeze—almost a chill in the air—and I kept thinking how strange a place this was as I sipped my Tervis tumbler full of cheap Chardonnay, and how glad I was for it.

I would say the next day was all anticipatory—for me, I was wrapping presents, adjusting red bows on everything in sight, waiting for that night when the Delray Christmas parade would take place. And downtown, everyone else was getting geared up including Cloud 10—that über-chic blow dry and make-up salon where we would all show up every morning if we could. Cloud 10 was actually making numeral 10-shaped clouds, and launching them up over Delray Beach. 100-foot tree, check. Free golf cart taxis, check. Custom-made clouds, check. As I said, this is no ordinary place where we live.

That evening was the Delray Christmas parade, complete with bands and baton twirlers and fire engines and floats. My old friend Mary and I knew right where to go; we stationed ourselves like we’ve been doing for years at the Porch Bar at the Colony, and watched the world—and the parade—go by. We waved at the kids and booed at a few of the politicos we don’t like, and we cheered when Santa showed up on his fire truck. Then we wandered up the Avenue, stopped here and there, and ended up having a little dim sum at the Buddha Sky Bar. You could see all of Delray from up there—the star-shaped Christmas lights on the lamp posts, the car headlights twinkling below, the neon signs, even a half-moon slipping up the arc of the night sky. (And there may have even been a few Cloud 10s drifting by,)

It was Christmas in Delray right then, that magic place where the season meets the tropics and we are all happy for no good reason.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.