The Official LA Guide to Chilling Out and Embracing Winter Heat

Relax, eat some tamales (Image via Meredith Rogers)
Relax, eat some tamales (Image via Meredith Rogers)

Stretch your memory, if you can, all the way back to yesterday, and to the moment you first went outside. You might recall saying: “What.” Because it was 72 degrees on December 13, and you were dressed for normal New York December 13. Immediate internal disorientation might have followed, not to mention sweaty-back.

Well, that’s what happened to me, and the trouble continued when I walked one block away to get coffee. December calls for hot caffeine, and we are creatures of habit, all of which is to say: I made a very poor choice by ordering the steaming drip variety. And, particularly because I’m from Minnesota, I don’t know how to handle myself in this weather. What I needed was some professional guidance about how to stop worrying and embrace hot December. Luckily, I remembered I have like six friends in LA, and every one of them used to live in New York. How do you guys do this? I wrote. Below you’ll find all their advice in our official LA Guide to Surviving a Warm December.

Image via Meredith Rogers.
Image via Meredith Rogers.

Note: It may not be 70 tomorrow or the next day, but it will be in the 60s, and if it ever reaches the 70s again this winter (let’s not kid ourselves, when that happens), take a page out of their hot winter book and I’m told, to start, eat some tamales.

  1. Surround yourself with the scent of pine: Because things smell more in the heat. Reap the benefits with pinecones and the like.
  2. Black out all windows: Winters are both cold and dark. Go big on one half of the formula to compensate for underperformance in the second area.
  3. Watch slow things on television: Things should slow down in the winter, and nothing is slower than yule log—except for yule train and yule boat.
  4. Return to iced beverages: Even if intended for summer, they are great all of the time. Good to take advantage of that fact.
  5. Watch some damn Christmas movies and get your head right again: Painful at first, because you cannot actually walk outside into a magical blizzard, but exciting because you will inhabit, at least, the spirit of the holidays. And isn’t that the point of “the holidays” anyway? That we feel them in spirit? That’s what adults told me, anyway, when I found out Santa Claus was my dad. I’ll try to keep going with that concept.
  6. Don’t stop drinking rosé, you simply don’t have to!: If there’s a drink that embraces the happier side of heat, rosé is probably a top candidate, not to mention tequila, which was also addressed, as in: Sip tequila for a warming sensation, not whiskey. Whiskey is for actual cold weather, not fake cold weather. Right—tequila is also for heat-based celebrations, like tamale parties.
  7. Which is what my friend Meredith was enjoying the very moment I wrote to her! And she was having so much fun at it, she didn’t have time to respond beyond: “I’m at a tequila tamale outdoor holiday party! Everyone is in sunglasses, will send pics!!” Bless you, Mer.

    Via Meredith Rogers.
    Via Meredith Rogers.

What’s the other thing people say: Do as I do not as I say? Just kidding, it’s the other way around. But in this case, I wanna do as they do and as they say, because my LA friends proved to me that chilling out in December heat was possible. So, thank you, LA! You may be strange and confusing to New York sometimes, but if you do one thing a lot better than us, it’s taking your December heat in stride.


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