Christmastime is all about roasting chestnuts on an open fire, building snowmen, and taking your sled for the first ride of the year -- unless you live in Florida, where it hardly ever snows and you can comfortably wear shorts in December. It's actually a bit odd watching holiday specials full of snowflakes and earmuffs when you're sitting there in flip-flops. That's why Floridians have tried their best to make their own tropical Christmas traditions.
Some of them are beloved. Others are a bit odd.
"Dammit, Gerald, we moved down here to live a full-time boat lifestyle, and we're gonna go to Lowe's and buy a bunch of twinkle lights for our boat and figure out how to put two light-up snowmen holding each other on the bow like they're goddamn Jack and Rose on the Titanic, because if I have to hear Marjorie from down the street talk about how she and Henry always have the best boat in the Marco Island community boat parade at one more bridge game, I swear..."
Christmas Lights on Palm Trees
The first person who did it was probably trying to be ironic. Now it's just tradition.
Your Family's Beach Christmas Card
Is there anything more passive-aggressive? If your family hasn't done it, you know someone's family who has. The relatives in the photos are almost always dressed in matching all-white, and maybe someone is wearing a Santa hat. Then they send it to their family and friends up North in the dead of winter, and the message is basically, "Ha-ha, screw you! It's 84 degrees in December down here! Have fun shoveling your stoop, and may you feel the joy of Christ this holiday season. Love, the Yuergensons."
Not Having an Ugly Christmas Sweater to Wear to an Ugly-Christmas-Sweater Party
Your grandmother likes to embroider decorative pillows for her porch swing. She doesn't knit because, well, everyone in your family has lived in Florida since the '60s and no one has any use for anything that's knitted. Ergo, you have no ugly Christmas sweaters to wear to ugly-Christmas-sweater parties.
In fact, if you see a fellow native Floridian wearing an ugly sweater, you like to call them out for buying it on eBay specifically to wear to ugly-Christmas-sweater parties.
Riding Your New Bike Christmas Day
Every few years, Santa gives us a new bike, and we're lucky enough to be able to ride it that very day. Can you imagine getting a bike for Christmas and then having to wait two months until the snow melts so you can ride it? The North is horrible.
You can't make snow angels for obvious reasons, so you have to settle for spreading your limbs to make sand angels, which not only don't look cool but also leave you with sand in some uncomfortable places.
Sea Shells on Christmas Decorations
There's a certain kind of Pinterest-crazy lady who spends her weekends wearing a white visor while combing the beach for sea shells she can hot-glue to craft projects. Sure, that's fine normally, but it just seems odd on Christmas decorations. No one needs sea shell ornaments or starfish wreaths or sand dollar centerpieces. It just ruins the winter fantasy.
Explaining How Santa Gets in When You Don't Have a Chimney
Not that no homes in Florida have fireplaces, but they're not common either, which can lead to some awkward convos with children. "Um, Santa comes in through the air-conditioning ducts? Is that working for you? No. Uh, well, we'll just leave the back sliding-glass door open."
Way Overdoing It When It's Actually Cold Around Christmas
It's unseasonably chilly this week. Don't pretend you haven't made a mad dash to the store to get hot chocolate mix. "Hurry up -- we have to drink it now! It could be in the 80s next week!"
Turning "White Christmas" Into a Cocaine Joke
This one might be particularly popular in Miami, and you hear it at least once a year. It's dumb, but everyone goes for it. It's just not Christmas in South Florida without someone saying, "Well, I know I'm dreaming of a white Christmas... No, seriously, does anyone have a dealer?"
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