1. If you’ve forgotten how to play euchre, your family will disown you.
Is there anything more embarrassing than walking into a family gathering, only to be forced to admit that you no longer play euchre on a regular basis? Here in Michigan, not playing this beloved card game is definitely a sin, and you’ll certainly want to brush up on your skills before heading home for the holidays.
2. Lake effect snow is no joke.
If you now reside in a part of the country where "heavy snow" means an inch or two, you might have forgotten just how intense the snowfall can be along Michigan’s lakeshore. As soon as you get home, you might just find yourself trudging through wet, heavy snow -- ah, good old lake effect.
3. Yes, it’s still called "pop."
We don’t care if you’ve lived in California for the past few years and grown accustomed to calling it "soda." Here in Michigan, it’s still pop: and you might get a few funny looks from relatives if you ask for your favorite fizzy beverage by some newfangled name at the Christmas party.
4. People really are a bit nicer here.
The most striking element of returning home to Michigan after being away is the friendliness of our state’s residents. It’s true: here in the Great Lakes State, we’ve been known to wave at and greet perfect strangers on the sidewalk. If you’ve spent recent years in New York City, this might come as a (pleasant) shock!
5. Non-Michiganders can’t handle the icy roads.
Here in Michigan, drivers handle icy conditions with ease. That’s not to say that we don’t struggle with the roads from time to time, but most of us have plenty of practice and a solid set of snow tires. Upon returning home, you might realize that drivers in your non-Michigan state aren’t the most adept winter navigators.
6. Your entire high school graduating class is now really into craft beer.
Michiganders love beer, and they especially love beer that’s made right here in Michigan. If you decide to venture out for a night on the town during your holiday vacation, there’s a good chance that you’ll run into at least fifteen people that you never thought you’d see again. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
7. There’s still something magical about those holiday lights.
Whether you’re checking out the Big, Bright Light Show in downtown Rochester or exploring displays along the lakeshore in Holland, you’ll find yourself endlessly charmed by the Christmas lights that dot the landscape of Michigan. It doesn’t matter how old you are: these displays never lose their magic.
8. Vernors is the only medicine you’ll ever need.
Ate a few too many Christmas cookies? Don’t worry: your Michigan family will soothe your stomach immediately with a quick sip of Vernors. No, we don’t go for the Pepto Bismol when indigestion strikes. It’s Vernors all the way -- and you’ll be relieved to taste such a familiar childhood remedy!
9. A 70-degree Christmas is totally plausible.
While snowy conditions are all too common here in Michigan, our weather is largely unpredictable. In years past, we’ve had snowstorms continue well into April, and the reverse is also true: wintertime doesn’t always feel like wintertime. Don’t be shocked if you wake up on Christmas to sunny skies and t-shirt weather.
10. The beach is just as much fun when it’s cold outside.
As soon as you arrive at a frozen beach, you’ll remember that our Great Lakes are brilliant in every season. There’s something incredibly exciting about perusing the shores of Lake Michigan and gazing out at icy waves along the pier. Michigan’s natural beauty will stun you, especially when you’ve spent time away.
11. There really is no place like Michigan for the holidays.
Sure, we poke fun at our crazy weather and the silly traditions that permeate the holiday season here in Michigan. But our state is home to family, friends, memories, and so much more. It doesn’t matter how far you’ve strayed: Michigan will always be there to welcome you home for the holiday season.