A Christmas playlist for Southern Californians living the dream in warmer weather
No snow, no sledding and no chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
San Diegans rarely get to experience the winter wonderland so often described in Christmas music — unless they drive into the mountains or travel out of state. That doesn’t mean we don’t still celebrate in our own, warmer, sunnier way.
Take the annual holiday parade in Pacific Beach, for example, where over the weekend I saw a drummer with no shirt on and dancers wearing shorts. In December.
We may not have snow but we still string lights up in our palm trees and do the holiday as only San Diegans can. To help with this year’s celebrations, I’ve compiled 10 holiday songs that depict the sorts of scenes you might find here, including drought conditions and surfing Santas.
We got you covered for your next holiday party, San Diego.
Listen to this playlist we made, or scroll down for the list of songs.
1. “Winter Things”
Artist: Ariana Grande
Key lyrics: “It ain't even cold outside, not where I'm from / Feeling like it's mid-July under the sun”
2. “Christmas is the Sand”
Artist: Colbie Callait
Key lyrics: “But I saw Santa in his bathing suit / Tryin' to catch a wave, but he tried too soon / He laughed so hard that he could barely breathe / And washed up next to me”
3. “Tropical Holiday”
Artist: LIZ featuring Hoodboi
Key lyrics: “Makin' snow angels in the pink sand / No frost bite, only this sun-kissed tan / We don't need mittens, let's just hold hands”
4. “Tropical Christmas”
Artist: The Bellamy Brothers
Key lyrics: “And when the sun sets down in the ocean / We'll decorate the palm tree”
5. “Snow in California”
Artist: Ariana Grande
Key lyrics: “Just make it snow in California / I'll even settle for rain”
6. “California Christmas”
Artist: Mary Mary
Key lyrics: “Blessed to see another holiday / Especially Christmas the Cali way”
7. “California Christmastime”
Artist: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Cast
Key lyrics: “And what would Christmas be without / Historically low mountain snow causing staggering drought”
8. “California Christmas”
Artist: Leah Felder
Key lyrics: “It’s another hot December in the Western state / From the San Diego beaches to the Golden Gate / It’s Christmas time in California”
9. “Christmas in California”
Key lyrics: “People say it can't be true / That the spirit lives here, too / But you'll find Christmas everywhere / Under palm trees, sun and moon”
10. “Christmas in California”
Artist: Captain & Tennille
Key lyrics: “Christmas in California / May not be like the ones you know / When you look around / You may not see snow / You may not see holly / Or frosted window panes / Or icicles glistening like silver candy canes / But Christmas in California is a special one to share”
Sign up for the Pacific Insider newsletter
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Pacific San Diego.