Like everything else in Vegas, Christmas is BIG. It’s everywhere during the month of December, and it’s kind of a unique holiday experience. I read that Las Vegas is the top Christmas destination in the U.S. and having now been there during the holiday season, I can see why.
You see, in Vegas, they don’t do just a Christmas tree, they do the BIGGEST, BEST, MOST SPARKLY Christmas tree. They don’t do Santa, they do Elvis Santa. They don’t do snow, well, actually, this year they did do snow. We had flurries one day we were there, and on the day we flew out, a record snow storm blew in behind us. See?! Even snow in Vegas, when they get it, they go all out. And if they didn’t get any snow, the Bellagio was prepared, they made their own flakes to fall.
Speaking of the Bellagio, I think that hotel did the best job of presenting a Vegas Christmas. The beautiful dancing fountains outside pushed Celine and Cher off of the music list and instead danced to Christmas tunes, and I think put on some of their best shows ever (and I’ve seen a few now.) The Bellagio garden surely decked the halls by putting out its Christmas finest. There was a monster wreath that you could walk through, ginormous snowmen with falling fake snow, a rocking horse that was big enough to eat the passersby, reindeer flying through the sky, and, oh yeah, one heck of a Christmas tree surrounded by poinsettias. In the hallways and the lobby of the hotel, there were more Christmas decorations. There were toy soldiers (that were larger-than-life-sized) and Christmas candy hanging from the ceiling and stacks of even more larger-than-life-sized presents that were so sparkly that you could see your reflection in them.
But Bellagio didn’t corner the Vegas Christmas market. Every hotel lobby had monstrous-sized garland and bows and wreaths just hanging around. The chocolate shops had chocolate Santas that would take a week to eat just a foot. The pastry shops had gingerbread houses that you could live in, but probably then not want to chow down on. The brand-new Palazzo hotel had a water fountain filled with real cranberries floating on the water, and golden, glittery pinecones as ornaments. The Wynn hotel had lighted trees at the entrance like a winter wonderland.
Freemont Street was not to be outdone, either. Right next to the giant neon cowboy and cowgirl there was a Christmas tree that almost touched the lights from the canopy. Christmas music bounced off the walkway walls as we bounced from casino to casino to find the perfect slot machine.
The Freemont Street Experience light show also had a little holiday show that followed its regularly scheduled program. Alas, moron that I am, I thought I videoed it but had the stupid camera turned off. However, it was a delight to see the giant snowmen and giant candy canes dance on the ceiling, followed by, of course, a giant Santa.
Christmas was definitely in the air, the food, the water and the décor. Vegas is all about going big!