15 Signs the Holidays Have Arrived in LA

Forget dreaming of a white Christmas, you’d settle for a day that doesn’t shoot past the 80 degree mark. Unlike other cities, where snow and cold are indicators the holidays have arrived, in LA we can sometimes hit the beach after unwrapping gifts. Each of these 15 things, however, means it’s a sure bet that Santa will soon be on his way.

palm lights flickr
photo: Eric Kirby via Flickr

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1. The palm trees and yachts are decked out in twinkling lights.

2. You swap out your mom uniform of yoga pants and flip flops, for your winter uniform of yoga pants and Ugg boots.

3. The Starbucks line just doubled thanks to everyone getting their peppermint latte-filled red holiday cup fix.

Holiday Signs Snow
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

4. Real “LA snow” blankets the city, courtesy of a dump truck, at spots like the Kidspace Museum.

5. A chubby senior citizen dressed in red is momentarily the biggest star in Hollywood (unlike the rest of the year when youth and slim are the bywords)  when the Christmas Parade comes to town.

6. The second-hand boutiques on Melrose move the boho dresses to the back to make room for ugly Christmas sweaters. (Speaking of which, have you RSVP’d to the ironic Ugly Christmas Sweater Party your college roommate is throwing yet?)

7. Your pint-sized foodies are on a constant sugar high from all the holiday flavored ice cream the trendy new hotspots for cool stuff are serving up.

8. You make your kids put on their “winter coats,” aka a thin, cotton hoodie that they will stuff in their backpacks as soon as you drop them at school.

Holiday Signs Ice Skate
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

9. They insist on wearing said hoodie, along with hats, scarves and gloves to go ice skating outdoors when it’s a blazing 90 degrees.

10. For a few glorious days in late December the 405 is virtually empty as everyone jets off to Kansas, or whatever Midwest state they are originally from.

Holiday Signs Santa
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

11. Whether riding on a sleigh with sirens blaring through the streets of Culver City or surfing over to the beach, Santa is suddenly everywhere.

12. Reindeer fly over Beverly Hills, but you can meet the real deal at the Zoo.

13. Your neighbors put their film production skills to work lighting up their front yards, Griswold-style. You’ve already mapped out your plans to check out the biggest and brightest on Candy Cane Lane.

Holiday Signs Lucia
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

14. From giant Menorahs lit up on Hanukkah, to Scandinavian Lucia pageants, a melting pot of the season’s different cultural celebrations can be found all around the city.

15. You wait in line to watch volunteers paste seeds and tree bark onto the Rose Parade floats. Where else in the country can you do that?

What are some of your favorite signs it’s the holidays in LA? Share them in the comments!

—Shahrzad Warkentin


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