For many people, the stereotypical "white Christmas" scene with snow on the ground and on trees, a cozy fire with smoke pouring out of the chimney, and people adorned in coats, scarves, gloves and hats isn't a reality. In fact, even in some places that get snowy weather, the chances of snowfall on Christmas Day are quite slim. In some places, it may even be warm enough to take a dip in the ocean on that jolly holiday. But that doesn't stop many of us from wanting our holiday to feel like a winter wonderland. Here are some ways to make Christmas feel wintry, even in warm weather.
In a 2013 article on Coldwell Banker's website, Anne Baley writes about holiday decorations for Florida's warm climate. She suggests people take a tip from Walt Disney World, which is famous for decorating for winter holidays when it's 80 degrees outside to get tourists into the holiday spirit.
"The secret is to go over the top with your holiday decorations," she writes. "Cover your bushes with an overabundance of multicolored lights. Hang twinkling icicle lights from the edge of the roof. Festoon the front door with a large wreath and swaths of pine garland, be it real or artificial. Add a creatively decorated tree in the middle of the yard."
Baley adds that to get an extra-wintry feeling, you can make piles of instant snow and sprinkle it around the entire yard.
One type of instant snow is called Insta-Snow, created by Steve Spangler, a science author, teacher and toy designer. Insta-Snow is a powder, and when it's mixed with water, it erupts in seconds into a white fluffy substance that looks like real snow. According to its website, the product is a safe, nonhazardous material that acts like microscopic sponges to create the eruption. Uses include creating a yardful of "snow," sprinkling it on the tips of trees and enhancing display windows and hall decorations. It's reusable, too; if you let the water evaporate, it will turn back into the dry powder.
Margie Curry, 57, a New Jersey native who has resided in San Diego for the past 27 years, says she gets into the holiday spirit by decorating and sipping on warm beverages.
"I decorate my home mostly with wreaths, evergreen boughs, berries and pine cones to reflect nature and simplicity," she says. "My favorite drinks are spiced wine and hot chocolate."
In an article from SanJose.com this year, writer Andrea Kinnison says buying a fire pit and using scented items might also help fake winter weather when it's warm out.
"Winter is all about the smell of pine trees, crisp snowfall, and fresh air," Kinnison writes. "Buy a fern-scented spray to mist around the house, or light a winter-themed candle."
Getting outside the house and indulging in winter activities also helps evoke a wintry Christmas. Curry says she likes going to showings of "The Nutcracker" ballet and visiting seasonal outdoor ice skating rinks.
"I grew up on skates but just love to watch now," she says.
Curry says she grew up in a big family in a small town and often had a white Christmas, spending the holidays ice skating, sledding and making snowmen with her siblings and friends.
She says her favorite Christmas tradition today is going to a Christmas parade.
Even in San Diego, "it is normally chilly, and the community bundles up and gathers together to spread the love, joy and peace that is the true meaning of Christmas," Curry says.
However you decorate or whichever holiday attraction you visit, Curry says that what it all boils down to is creating memories that bring comfort and joy.
"Christmas is a feeling in your heart, whether in warm or cold weather," she says.