Whitney Urien
December 22, 2014 7:00 am

When most people think of the holidays they imagine an idealized White Christmas, with snow and sleigh rides and lots of chilly winter nights bundled up warm while a log burns on the fire. But for many of us who live in warmer states—you know the ones that never see snow—it can be hard to get into the holiday spirit. I swear I am not complaining about this because I know nice weather is amazing and nice and an 88-degree Christmas in your shorts is nothing to sneeze at. But, after many years living in Southern California, I’ve finally figured out the tricks to make it feel like Christmas, even when the world outside feels like a warm summer day.

1) Deck those halls: Get all the lights up, hang the stockings, let a Christmas wreath proudly cover your door until it’s dry and brown. Once those familiar Christmas items are up, it will help you get right into that spirit.

2. Play Christmas music or Christmas movies on repeat: I know it’s hard to drink hot chocolate when you are sweating, but a sure way to forget about the heat, or lack of snow, or rain is to crank up the AC and turn on your favorite holiday movie, or like Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”

3. Do you want to build a sandman? No snow no problem—get yourself to the nearest beach and make one out of sand! BONUS: Your hands wont go numb trying to make that perfect head.

4. Enjoy the lights: Where I live in Southern California people take their Christmas lights seriously. There are plenty of houses that go all out with lights and decorations, why not make a night out of it and drive around your neighborhood to check out all of the great displays. Many beach towns and small coastal cities even have Christmas Boat Parades, which can really help you get into the mood of the season.

5. Eat and drink traditional holiday things: Bake cookies, drink egg nog, glaze a Christmas ham. . . make your house smell and taste like whatever Christmas means to you.

6. Give back: Whether you celebrate, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus or nothing at all, the end of the year is a great time to reflect on what you have and give back to those who are not as fortunate. By donating your time to local homeless shelters, women’s shelters, or just cleaning out your closet and taking your clothes to a donation center you have the power to enrich the lives of those around you.

7. Remember how lucky you are to be enjoying warm weather, while your friends are clearing their driveways of snow and chipping ice off their windshields, you can lookout the window and marvel at the wonder that is a clear blue sky and a warm sunny day in December.

All images Via Shutterbug

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