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How to Make it Feel Like Christmas in a Warm Climate


I love living in a warm climate! But sometimes, during the holidays, it doesn’t feel so festive. Here are 11 ways to make it feel more like Christmas when you live in warm weather!

Text: How to make it feel like Christmas in a warm climate with a santa hat on a beach chaise lounge.

Celebrating Christmas in a warm climate doesn’t exactly feel like a Hallmark movie but that doesn’t mean it can’t feel a little bit more like one.

Planning a few fun activities, embracing the traditions where you are, and yes, even faking a white Christmas if you have to, can make even Southern California feel a little bit like New England in winter.

Take Your Family to Disneyland

Things to do to celebrate the holidays in a warm climate.

There is no place that does holiday like Disneyland. From the food to the shows, everything takes on a holiday vibe.

It’s a truly magical time of year to visit the park (or parks rather because California Adventure is amazing too!). There are photo opportunities everywhere you turn!

Be sure to stay until the end of the fireworks, when it snows on Main Street! (*We were given tickets to Disneyland.)

Plan a Holiday Party

How to make it feel festive when you live in warm weather.

Your party might be hosted on the patio but this is your chance to try out all the holiday recipes and cocktails that you’ve been seeing on Pinterest.

Gathering with friends and family always makes it feel more like the holidays. Whether you throw a huge party or keep it intimate, you can get the whole family involved in the planning.

A party makes everything feel more fun.

Plan on a Christmas Light Tour

Ways to make it feel more like the holidays when you live in a warm climate.

I love when people start to decorate their homes for Christmas. Going on a Christmas light tour is a really fun activity.

Because our weather is so nice, we can usually go out at night without being too cold and having to bundle up too much. Grab some hot chocolate and take a walking tour of the most decked-out neighborhood!

Last year we went to Palm Springs for the night to check out RoboLights, a well-known, crazy Christmas light installation! 

Decorate. A lot.

Make it feel festive when you live in warm weather.

The best way to make it feel festive is to decorate your house!

Even if you don’t buy your tree early in December (because in warm weather you have to worry about it dying too early!), you can still make your house feel cozy and holiday-ish by decorating.

It’s easy to fill in the decorations you already have with greenery, pinecones and other items that you can find from your local craft store!

Find the Snow

How to make it feel like the holidays when you live in a warm climate.

While it might not snow where you live, many places do fun holiday events where they bring the snow to you. Often they are crowded, and nothing truly takes the place of playing in real snow, but the kids always love it.

Check out local churches and places like the Discovery Cube Orange County for upcoming snow day activities.

Embrace Your Surfing Santa

Embrace your local traditions for Christmas.

We take a Santa photo every year but some locations are more untraditional than others.

Our local outdoor mall embraces are warm climate and creates a Santa Shack complete with surfboards and plays up our proximity to the beach. For a few years they used a Santa dressed in a Hawaiian shirts and shorts.

My boys were not into that. They’ve since switched back to a traditional Santa but keep him stationed in the Surf Shack which marries the best of both worlds.

I, however, loved surfing Santa!

Play Holiday Music

Simple ways to make it feel more like Christmas in a warm climate.

My favorite holiday playlist is one that I love to listen to while we trim the tree but it works any time after Thanksgiving. It’s full of non-traditional holiday music that I love.

And while you’re taking your kids to and from their activities, take advantage of the holiday-only stations on the radio. You’ll find yourself and your kids singing along a lot.

Use Essential Oils

Make your home smell like Christmas with essential oils.

My favorite way to make the house feel more festive is to use holiday-scented essential oils.

I have my diffuser running each day with scents like cinnamon, white fir, clove, and sweet orange.

I like to play around with a mix of smells that make it smell totally different, but still like Christmas. And if I think my Christmas tree doesn’t smell enough, I can use oils to boost the scent!

Get Your Holiday Baking On

Bake all of your favorite Christmas treats.

Growing up my mom made lots of holiday treats. And while I don’t love to spend that much time in the kitchen, I know it feels super festive to the kids when I start the holiday baking.

I love these Foodstirs baking mixes. They have holiday varieties, like this Gingerbread cookie mix, that are easy to make and take very little time.

Plus they are DELICIOUS (and made with ingredients that moms don’t mind giving their kids). (*Foodstirs sent me some of their holiday mixes to try!)

Wear Your Cold Weather Clothes (Even if you don’t need to)

Fun family things to do to make it feel more like Christmas when you live in a warm climate.

I am in love with a vintage fur coat that I found in a thrift store in Palm Springs. But because of our warm weather, I hardly ever get to wear it.

We try to find one event during the holiday season where we dress up in our favorite cold-weather clothes, whether we need to or not.

It’s fun to make sure you get to wear your favorite things, without suffering from a heat stroke. 

Play up your Christmas card

Ideas for making celebrating Christmas in a warm climate more fun.

It’s easy to buy pre-made holiday cards, throw an address on them and mail them out. But if you want to make it feel more like Christmas for your family, I suggest you put some effort into a fun, family holiday card.

We go a little overboard but it is something that we look forward to each year. We start planning in November and it often takes several weeks to pull off.

Last year we pretended to own a local pizzeria and did a photo shoot there.

We had an amazing time creating the card and the people who got the card loved it too.

Be grateful

It can feel like the holidays even when you live in a warm climate.

While you might be wishing for a white Christmas, don’t forget about how awesome it is to live in a warmer climate.

Cold weather living brings storms and lots of stuck indoor kind of days. Don’t forget to take stock of all the amazing things you get to do because of the climate you live in!

What are your favorite things to do to make it feel like Christmas when your weather is warm??

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One Comment

  1. Olivia Baker says:

    So many great ideas — I especially loved the essential oil tip! Something I always like to do is switch up my home decor to bring in darker, cooler colors. We even refinished our floors with a different stain this year to bring in that “holiday vibe”. Thanks for the inspo!

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