Christmas. It's the most wonderful time of the year, especially when the weather helps set the mood. In northeastern states like New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, winter snow is common. Some would argue that it's a bit too common. New York alone has experienced more than its fair share of devastating snowstorms and blizzards. Last year, for example, marked the fifth straight year that New York City saw at least 30 inches of snow, according to CNN.
Still, nothing screams Christmas more than evergreen conifers, icicles hanging from windowsills, poorly made snowmen and snow angels littered across lawns. Can you imagine Macaulay Culkin playing the role of Home Alone's Kevin McCallister and running around New York's Rockefeller Center in swimming trunks? Yeah, we can't either.
Sadly, Americans who don't live up north have to make do with the weather they have, and, to be fair, it's actually not all that bad. Ever wonder how some typically warm-weather states celebrate one of the most commercialized holidays? Scroll down and enlighten yourself.
This winter, temperatures in Los Angeles are expected to be in the high 60s and low 70s, according to AccuWeather. Still, that doesn't mean Christmas in the Golden State doesn't live up to the hype. Every Sunday after Thanksgiving, marching bands and floats line Hollywood Boulevard for the Hollywood Christmas Parade — a spectacle that often gives New York's Thanksgiving Day Parade a run for its money. Disneyland is also often redecorated — complete with artificially produced snow — to help visitors get in the Christmas spirit.
Contrary to popular belief, there are areas in California where snow does fall. At Mammoth Lakes, for instance, residents and visitors alike are treated to live music, a torchlight parade and fireworks at the Night of Lights. At Big Bear Lakes, Bear Valley Farms, a popular attraction, transforms itself into a winter wonderland where children can go on a hayride to the "North Pole."
Photo: Arizona Shona / Flickr
Arizona is probably best known for its deserts and cacti, but that doesn't mean its residents don't know how to celebrate Christmas. Every year, people in Chandler come together to see the Tumbleweed Tree, a sight to behold given its height. Last year, park workers amassed approximately 1,000 tumbleweeds to build the iconic tree, which was spray-painted white and decorated with lights.
During the holiday season, the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix also installs luminaria bags along its walking paths, creating an ambient atmosphere for its guests. Visitors can enjoy live music, from mariachi to dance.
Photo: Getty Images
Texas ranks consistently among the hottest states in the U.S., but the weather can get a little chilly during the winter. In El Paso, locals take to the cool streets to watch the Celebration of Light, a parade decked out in —you guessed it — Christmas lights. The city of Houston hosts something similar, with its own winter lantern festival
But no place in Texas compares to Grapevine, otherwise known as the state's Christmas capital. The city seemingly has everything, from a Christmas train that adults can ride while enjoying a glass of wine to an exhibit with vintage vignettes. More impressive is the fact is that there are nearly 1,400 Christmas events people can attend, according to Texas Monthly.
Photo: Outrigger Resorts
Hawaii is one of the top states people visit when they're trying to get away from the coldness. First-timers in the Aloha State should expect to see Santa figurines dressed in Hawaiian shirts and shorts, along with Christmas trees covered in tropical ornaments.
In Honolulu City specifically, there's a month-long Christmas light and decoration display at Honolulu Hale, the official seat of government of the city. And because Santa can't really come to Hawaii by sleigh, his Hawaiian counterpart often arrives at Wakiki Beach by canoe.