5 Awesome Things About Living in Los Angeles During the Holidays, and 5 Not So Awesome Things
Obviously, there are a lot of wonderful reasons to live in Los Angeles. It's a busy, sprawling city with lots of beautiful people and flawless tangible items. There's always something to do, someone to see, and a gluten-free vegan meal to consume. Also, it's a land full of transplants. I know a lot of people are born here and have spent their entire lives soaking up all that LA has to offer, but I've only met a few of them. Most of the people I meet are from other places. And honestly, the majority of those people moved to SoCal from the coldest parts of the country like Michigan, or any state in New England.
Getting away from bleak winters that seem to last six months long is a nice change, and probably even adds years to your life, if only for the fact that you never experience even a remote trace of S.A.D. But there are some things that are just not the same here as they are in other parts of the country, particularly around Christmas time. Being in LA during the holiday season is a completely different way of life. It's really hard for any non-local to get used to. Here are all the good, bad, and ugly things about being a transplant in beautiful Los Angeles over the holidays.
1. No freezing temperatures
You know that moment when you step outside on days with a crazy wind chill and negative temperatures and can't even catch your breath? Yeah, that doesn't happen here in SoCal. You're looking at lows of around 50 degrees and zero windchill. So it's basically fall from October to April. And black ice isn't really a thing either. This mysterious snow and rain-induced death trap is basically everywhere but here. We might get a rainy hour or two, but that's the most extreme forecast your Christmas season will face.
2. Winter is not coming
That quote, meme, and ominous threat has no meaning here, because winter is just not coming. Winter has no interest in stopping by Hollywood.
3. Winter coats are for style, not function
People do wear winter coats, so it's not like you won't see them, they just aren't super duper necessary. Not in the same way they are elsewhere. Although, after being here in LA for seven years, I get cold more easily, and my North Face jacket certainly gets worn just as often as it was when I lived in New Hampshire. Also, I'm not sure I'd be able to handle the bitter cold of a New England winter anymore without turning into a human popsicle.
4. You can throw away that snow scraper in your trunk
I still have mine in my trunk, though I'm not sure why. I definitely don't need it, but I suppose I just keep hoping to experience a snow day where I can build a snow man on the beach.
5. You can spend Christmas Day on the beach
That's kind of the best part. You can wake up, open your gifts, and then put on a hoodie and watch the waves roll in at the beach.
1. The traffic
This isn't a seasonal thing, since the traffic is always garbage, but it seems more chaotic when you're trying to buy gifts and groceries for the Christmas feast. Everybody is just everywhere all the time. It makes you feel the opposite of jolly.
2. There will be no white Christmas
I think they've had maybe one or two in the last 100 years? But most likely, you will never wake up on Christmas morning and look out the window to see trees with frosted tips and branches beautifully coated in fresh snow. That is a truly magical experience, especially as a child, so to know it'll probably never happen if you're in LA is kind of a bummer.
3. The palm trees are decorated like regular Christmas trees
For anyone who grew up in a place where Christmas trees were everywhere and locally cut and sold during Christmas, to see a palm tree dressed in ornaments and Christmas lights, it just feels wrong. It's an insult, actually. You're a palm tree. Stop trying to be a pine or fir tree. Just do you, bro.
4. Dunkin' Donuts drinks are few and far between
Dunkin' Donuts is a year-round staple, whether your poison is hot chocolate or iced coffee. We do FINALLY have a DD out here, but like I said, this is a land of transplants so the one location we have in Santa Monica is always packed with the people who have had medium French vanilla iced coffees dancing in their heads for years.
5. It just doesn't feel like Christmas
People are wearing tank tops outside on Christmas Eve. There are people soaking up the sun on the sand in bathing suits. Christmas carolers don't need to brave any elements in order to spread Christmas cheer. Like, what is this sorcery?