Ten Ways You Know It's Christmas Season in South Florida

The weather outside definitely isn't frightful, but nonetheless, we are smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season in South Florida. How do we know it's that time of year again? The calendar. If we're being honest, it's pretty much just the calendar.

OK, there are a couple of other sure-fire signs Christmas and Hanukkah are right around the corner. They may not exactly be as traditional or awe-inspiring as the first sign of snow or a crackling fire, but just because there aren't any songs written about them doesn't mean they don't exist.

Holiday season happens in South Florida too, OK? We know because we tend to see the following signs this time of year.

1. The snowbird traffic

The roads you're so used to being able to navigate easily become a huge pain in the ass. That 25-minute drive to work? It's an hour in November and December. You know why? Of course you do — it's old people! Er, snowbirds, if you want to be all PC about it. If you were in a coma and woke up on November 25, you would know exactly what season it was just by looking at the traffic on University Drive.

2. College kids are everywhere

Nothing says "Happy Holidays" like shit-faced 20-year-olds puking up Fireball shots outside your favorite bar. This time of year, college kids all over the country are finishing up their finals and getting ready to migrate back to the motherland (Coral Springs, probably) to do little else but binge drink, smoke weed, have sex, and pretend to want to spend time with their parents. It's a nationwide tradition, but it's much more prevalent in South Florida where everyone is beautiful and not wearing winter clothes.

3. Sand snowmen

When in Rome, right? If you haven't ever built a sand snowman in South Florida, you're doing it wrong. Growing up, this was a tradition every true Floridian participated in to make up for the lack of the white stuff. Sandmen don't exactly work vertically as well as snowmen, so many of the pictures you might find in photo albums are of you and your friends lying next to a carved sandman. It's basically our generic version of the original,  but we didn't know any better growing up.

4. Christmas lights in palm trees

We take decorating palm trees for Christmas for granted. Seriously, read that back: We are decorating palm trees with Christmas lights. If that's not a blessing, I don't know what is. While other people are climbing onto slippery ladders, you're in flip-flops running circles around a perfectly accessible palm tree, just hoping you don't get a sunburn in the process.

5. Stone crabs

The height of stone crab season just so happens to coincide with the holidays, so you know the two are going to pair well in South Florida around a time of year when everyone is looking to celebrate and indulge. Stone crabs scream celebrate, but they also scream I love living really, really close to the water. Walking into a holiday party in South Florida and seeing a platter of stone crabs or shrimp is a tradition we're extremely proud of.
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi