An RV Christmas in the Desert

If you are spending the holidays in your RV, there is a good possibility that you will end up somewhere warm. Whether you are a snowbird dodging the winter, a full-time RVer chasing seventy degrees, or an RV owner looking for a Christmas vacation somewhere warm, there are several main states where many RVers tend to spend their winters. These include Florida, Texas, southern New Mexico, southern Arizona, and Southern California. Of these, all but Florida are located in the desert. 

Enjoying the holidays in the desert may be a bit non-traditional to those who are from colder, snowier climates. However, you really can’t go wrong when spending the holidays soaking up the sunlight, surrounded by saguaro cactuses. Continue on for a full list of activities to consider if you are spending Christmas in the sunny desert.

Things to Do:

1. Go for a hike

Part of the fun of spending the holidays somewhere warm is the ability to get outside and enjoy the sunlight. One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors is by going for a hike. The desert has some pretty excellent hiking opportunities, so you should have no trouble finding a great trail to discover. Be sure to choose a hike with an appropriate trail rating for you and your family’s abilities. And as always, be sure to pack plenty of snacks and water for enjoyment on the trail.

2. Cook and eat dinner outside

Christmas dinner is one of the best parts of the holiday, and being in an RV shouldn’t change that. After enjoying a nice long hike, coming back to your rig and cooking dinner should be a real treat. Preparing a large meal in your RV is totally possible with some adjustments and considerations. 

Many people like to cook a ham or turkey for Christmas, so the oven space should be reserved for the main course. Vegetables can be prepared in pans on the stove, and sides, such as mashed potatoes or stuffing, can be prepared and kept warm in slow cookers or the Instant-pot, if you have one. You could even consider preparing some sides, such as casseroles or stuffing, ahead of time and reheating them on the day of the holiday. Desserts can also be prepared ahead of time. This gives you less work to do on the actual holiday and more time to enjoy yourself.

In a warm climate, it may be nice to eat dinner outside. This will give you more table space and more seating if you have more than three or four people. It also gives you an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and the scenery while eating your meal. This is surely one of the best parts of spending Christmas in the desert.

3. Decorate a cactus

While this is not an overly common activity, some RVers have tried it in lieu of having a traditional tree in their RV. Simply string some battery-powered lights around a tall cactus of choice, and perhaps dangle an ornament or two. Be sure not to cause any damage or harm to the plant, and take some photos before disassembling everything at the end of the day.

4. Take some Christmas desert photos

Once of the best ways to commemorate a fun occasion is by taking some photos. Before the day has finished, be sure to gather your family outside to snap some Christmas photos. The lighting is best in the early morning or in the afternoon before the sun has set, so time your session well for the best results.

5. Watch the sunset

Because of its relatively flat landscape and lower elevation, the sunset in the desert is often 360 degrees. The sky fills with bright cotton candy colors, and the cactuses and mountains in the distance tend to fade to silhouettes as the sun eventually dips below the horizon. Watching this type of desert sunset is not possible if you are somewhere cold or snowy, so be sure to enjoy it while you can. Ending your day with a beautiful view is an excellent way to spend the holiday. Do some research on best sunset viewing locations for the area you are visiting, and go enjoy the show.

Enjoying a non-traditional Christmas may seem difficult to you initially, but trying new things can be fun and may even add a unique flair to your holiday. Spending Christmas in the desert is surely a way to make some memories that you will treasure for years to come. If you are planning to enjoy the holidays in the desert this year, be sure to consider any of these activities for Christmas fun that both you and your family will love.

Have you spent Christmas in the desert? What activities did you enjoy on the holiday? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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  1. Sam Leash
    11th February, 2020

    Hey Laura! Sounds like you’ve really enjoyed your holidays in the desert. Wishing you many more desert Christmases! 🙂

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  2. Laura C
    11th January, 2020

    Sam is right. Attitude is everything when spending a non traditional Christmas somewhere special like the desert. We’ve spent many a Christmas in Quartzite or Borrego Springs with and without like minded RV friends and it’s a different and wonderful experience. The desert is quiet and peaceful and everything Christmas should be. The added extra is that you can camp for free in most desert areas.

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