What the Holidays Look Like Without Snow

Not cold at all where you are? Do this.

It's my first December not in a cold climate; my first 18 Decembers were spent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, followed by eight in New York City. But now I live in L.A., and those postcard holiday landscapes—showing rosy-cheeked people in scarves holding warm beverages while delicate clumps of snow dot sizable pine trees—feel crazy out of touch. A friend of mine who also recently moved to California absentmindedly remarked to me, "They don't have Christmas in L.A."

Of course, as it turns out, they do have Christmas in L.A.! They have all the holidays in L.A.! And, actually, it's been refreshing to see Californians' exuberance for the holiday season expressed in their own way, with palm trees and cacti wrapped in twinkle lights and LED projections dancing across single-level Spanish Revival homes. Curious to see how other desert and tropical climates decorate for the season, I went on an Instagram tear, digging deep into tags like #ChristmasCactus and #DecoratingTheDesert. Here are the most creative, smile-inducing takes on snow-free holiday decor.

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Cali candy canes. Image courtesy of @claracanul

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Much respect to whoever strung lights up these enormous palm trees. Image courtesy of @maxsmom88

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Twinkly cacti in Dubai. Image courtesy of @bridieforster

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A seasonally appropriate sunset. Image courtesy of @chase_minor

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The River of Lights light show in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image courtesy of @toni.337

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As if palm trees needed to be more 'grammable. Image courtesy of @tinysociety_v

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Texas tackles Christmas yard decor. Image courtesy of @krittenmarie

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Sandy Santa in Florida. Image courtesy of @yourcurvycoach

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Frosty the Tireman. Image courtesy of @alancienne

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Blues and greens in the American Southwest. Image courtesy of @bearsandberries

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