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9 Ways to Celebrate the Season — Southern California-Style

Thanks to Honda Odyssey for sponsoring this post. Click here to see more of the discussion. #StartSomethingSpecial

It won’t be a white Christmas. Snow won’t fall and the kids won’t go sledding. But we still find our own ways to celebrate here in sunny Southern California, where we’ve been enjoying a week of record highs threatening to hit 90 degrees in December.

Los Angeles is a ghost town come holiday season, and, I’ll be honest, we natives — the few, the proud — kind of like it that way. Our usually overcrowded streets are suddenly broad and open, and, even through the streaming rays of sunshine, there’s a magical, nostalgic, seasonal feeling that hangs in the balmy air. We just find ways to make it feel like Christmas (or in my case, Hanukkah, but who’s counting) while still taking advantage of our Truman Show climate.

Honda generously loaned us their new 2014 Honda Odyssey for a week, and we decided to take it out and explore the town. So, in honor of holiday traditions that look nothing like most of our fellow Americans, I thought I’d share a little sampling of how we Angelenos will deck the halls and ring in the new year, in true SoCal style.

  • We Do Things a Little Differently Out Here 1 of 10
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  • Candy Cane Lane 2 of 10
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    Far into the West Valley, residents of a street called "Candy Cane Lane" each devote their house to a different theme. Three generations piled into the Honda Odyssey with some hot cocoa and blasted the air conditioner for the full winter effect.

     

    Image courtesy of MartialArtsNomad, on Flickr

     

  • Annual HoHotel Show 3 of 10
    HoHotel Cafe Show

    A launching ground for many a Hollywood stars and rock stars, the famed Hotel Cafe hosts its annual HoHotel Cafe Show.

     

    Image:Hohotel (Night Two) 12/14/2013 #1 by Justin Higuchi, on Flickr

  • Farmers Market/The Grove 4 of 10
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    One place in Los Angeles that really gets in to the Christmas Spirit is the original Farmers Market, now home to The Grove and its weird fake snow. Still, if you're around L.A. and longing for a more traditional Christmas, The Grove's got all the sights and sounds you're looking for. Especially in the few days before the holiday, once everyone who has somewhere cozy to go has left town.

     

    Image courtesy of Praytino on Flickr.

  • Family Surfing Safari 5 of 10
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    We might not be able to pack up the van and go sledding, but we can still pack up the van and go surfing in December! And Christmas came early when I was able to vacuum the sand out of my Honda Odyssey with its built in vacuum. Coolest feature by far.

     

     

  • Rodeo Drive, Baby 6 of 10
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    Holidays on Wilshire Boulevard almost feel like you're in NYC or Chicago. Except it's not cold and there's no snow. There is, however, a life-sized Santa with his reindeer hovering over the intersection.

     

    Image courtesy of Lauren Michell Rabaino on Flickr

  • Chinatown at Christmastime 7 of 10
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    It's awesome to see the red lanterns in full effect, and the restaurants and shops are open on Christmas Day! As a Jewish kid growing up in L.A., Chinatown was a tradition and still is!

     

    Image courtesy of  Vidalia 11 on Flickr.

  • Beach Weather Whenever 8 of 10
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    Clouds on the horizon make for our version of a "White Christmas." The Seal Beach Pie is one of many dotting the coastline adorned in Holiday spirit, and they have a great playground for the kiddos.

     

    Image courtesy of Wha'ppen on Flickr.

  • Santa Monica Does Christmas in Style 9 of 10
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    There might be a beach 40 feet from here, but it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Third Street Promenade.

     

    Image courtesy of Chucknado on Flickr

  • …And Of Course, if You’re Looking for Snow 10 of 10
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    Disneyland and a magical holiday is only a hop skip and a jump away. We're taking Dee next week, and I can't wait for her to see it snow!

    Image courtesy of Tom Bricker on Flickr

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