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The Ten Greatest Only-In-Miami Christmas Traditions

When it comes to Christmas, we do things a little differently here in the MIA. While you will never find chestnuts roasting on an open fire, you will find tremendo lechón.

And in the 305, a "white Christmas" has nothing to do with actual snow.

So crank up the Jose Feliciano, invite your 30 closest relatives over, and get into the holiday spirit with these ten only-in-Miami Christmas traditions.

See also: Ten Reasons to Visit Orlando This Christmas Season

10. Getting White Girl Wasted Off Coquito

The best thing to come out of Puerto Rico since Menudo, coquito is the nectar of the holiday gods. It's the Hispanic version of eggnog, except with way more rum and way less egg. So, the better version, obviously. If you've never tried it, grab the first boricua that crosses your path and get your drank on. Salud!

The Ten Greatest Only-In-Miami Christmas Traditions
toolmantim/Flickr CC

9. Hot Chocolate and Churros In or Around Your Mouth

When the temperature drops below 60 degrees (so... like twice a year) and you need to warm your tired soul, there's no better remedy than some hot chocolate and churros. Not the watered down Nestle kind and those abominations from Churromania either. For the real deal, us Miamians throw on that one sweater we each own and hightail it over to Las Palmas on Calle Ocho. Talk about a mouthgasm.

 

The Ten Greatest Only-In-Miami Christmas Traditions
Caitlinator/Flickr CC

8. Putting Up Decked Out Decorations

When lawns are littered with flamingos dressed as Santa and palm trees are practically puking Christmas lights, you know that the holiday season has officially begun in the Magic City. We do it big here. Our electricity bills are nothing to sneeze at. Those nightmare-inducing plastic reindeer are coming correct on our roofs. Inflatable snowmen are our life source. And you better believe that nothing comes down until we celebrate El Día de Los Reyes Magos in January. Keep it tacky, Miami.

The Ten Greatest Only-In-Miami Christmas Traditions
stevendepolo/Flickr CC

7. Opening Presents at Midnight on December 24

We're an impatient bunch, so when the clock strikes 12 on Dec. 24, we're tearing into those presents like it's our effing job. We always say we'll open "just one," but before you know it, the bottom of the tree is SUPER bare. For us, the 25th isn't a day to celebrate Jesus anymore, it's a day to recover from the coquito hangover and eat pan con lechón.

 

The Ten Greatest Only-In-Miami Christmas Traditions
Matti Mattila/Flickr CC

6. Concocting Our Own Tales About Santa

Have you ever seen a house in Miami with a chimney? Yeah, didn't think so. Therefore, we have to get a little creative when it comes to explaining how Santa delivers presents to the good little boys and girls of Miami. Whether he's stealthily coming through your sliding glass door, using a key left under the doormat, or straight up breaking and entering, our version of Santa is a total and complete BAMF. Who believes his fat ass can get through a chimney anyhow?

The Ten Greatest Only-In-Miami Christmas Traditions
Annie Mole/Flickr

5. Becoming Legitimately Excited to Wear Winter Clothing

When a slight breeze rolls through, we'll dust off our hideous Uggs and puffy J.Lo-inspired jackets faster than you can say Feliz Navidad. We look ridiculous, but it truly is a Christmas miracle when Miami gets "chilly" weather for more than four days straight. Hell, a slight cold front causes us to lose our minds and bundle up like Snowpocalypse is near. Our Northern and Midwestern friends may judge us for this odd behavior, but we always get the last laugh when we're eventually back to bikinis and flip-flops and they're freezing their nads off for another two months.

 

4. Watching the Miami Heat Whoop Ass

Consider this one a modern tradition of sorts, since our beloved Miami Heat have pretty much played (and slayed) on every Christmas in recent memory. We relish having a full afternoon of glorious alley oops, over-the-top flopping and LeBron James dunking people into oblivion. Winning against the (laughable) Los Angeles Lakers this year will be the greatest Christmas present of all.

3. Busting Out La Caja China

No Noche Buena is complete without a few Cubans asando un puerco on La Caja China. It's a whole production, too. When we unveil the finished product, every rando on the block shows up begging for a piece of that crispy skin. While there's a legit company that sells Caja Chinas now, and Bobby Flay may be a fan, 305 residents can claim that they've been creating their own bootleg versions for years. Say what you want about Miami, but we're God damn innovators when it comes to roasting a pig.

 

2. Jamming to DJ Laz's Mi Burrito Sabanero Remix

You know Christmas is right around the corner when Power 96 starts playing the Mi Burrito Sabanero Remix on repeat. God bless this little gem for teaching us the story of Jesus' birth while giving us something to shake our rump to with that mid-song hip-hop breakdown. Tuqui tuqui tuqui tuqui, indeed.

1. Hitting Up Santa's Enchanted Forest

Games, shows, food, nativities! With the jingle that launched a thousand childhoods, Santa's Enchanted Forest is the epitome of a Miami Christmas tradition. It's so Miami, in fact, that they even leave the Christmas lights up all year just like the rest of us. Starting in November and ending in January (because who doesn't need two solid months of fried foods and terrifying carnival rides), Santa's Enchanted Forest is a rite of passage for every kid and teen in the city. And just in case you want to go this year but somehow forgot where it is, let us help you out. It's in Tropical Park on Palmetto and Bird Road.

--Lourdes Duarte

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