Culture

You Can Always Count On Christmas In Miami To Be Warm And Sunny

There is truly no better place to grow up Caribbean in the U.S. than Miami. You have 24/7 access to fresh croquetas, the street signs in Hialeah are in Spanish and that always the feeling of belonging.

The only white Christmas you’ll find in Florida is on the white sand beaches. The tropical climate does not dampen the Christmas spirit at all. In fact, it is just as magical to see the palm trees covered in Christmas lights.

Miamian’s love to decorate for the holidays like nobody else.

@aurangzebniazi / Twitter

Opinion: it’s because there’s no other way to tell what season it is outside. It looks the same year-round with the same humidity. Christmas lights are how you know it’s supposed to be winter.

Every shopping plaza is legally required to string lights around the palm trees.

@aurangzebniazi / Twitter

Okay, it’s not a law, but it might as well be. A naked palm tree is a neglected palm tree at Christmastime.

Kids are taught that these are Santa’s helpers:

@angeljr1973 / Instagram

When we start seeing them out there with their electrical sleigh, we get very emotional. They’re helping prepare for Santa’s return.

Everyone makes a point to post photos at the beach.

@visitmiamiflorida / Instagram

Why? Just because we can. It just fells extra good to know that most of the country is frozen and you’re living your best beach life.

You’ll probably get a Christmas card from a half-naked family by their pool at some point.

@allaboutyou_photography / Instagram

There is nothing more Miami then sending poolside or beachside Christmas cards to all of your friends and family. Sure, they are living in freezing weather but you have a tropical oasis all year.

Or on the beach.

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Ayyy, go Heat. Miami does have all the heat anyone could need. We get to be outside, in the sun, soaking up Vitamin D and releasing endorphins all over the place. We’re happy sand people.

We still have our snow activities, though, okay?

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Por favor. Don’t pity us for not having the joy of snowmen building and snow angels. That’s so pedestrian, we can do it all year long.

We won’t get too picky about what trees we adorn.

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Palm trees are the tree of choice. Plus, those evergreens cost a lot more in the tropics than they do at their home base. We’re just being sustainable over here.

We don’t take down decorations until January 6th.

@MiamiTrees / Twitter

So it feels like tropical Christmas a solid extra two weeks longer than the rest of America. This is an elephant at the Miami Zoo playing with a tree. Notice how the photo feels hot and humid.

No need to go to a bar to warm up from the cold.

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You can enjoy your frosty daiquiri at the beach. Maybe bring a sweater just in case it drops below 70.

It’s too warm for an ugly Christmas sweater party, but we’ll throw a good ugly tank party.

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That is a palm tree on her shirt instead of an evergreen. We’re happy with our tree of choice.

We’ll still go big on the fake trees.

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In all the places you’d imagine–The Grove, Bayside, Bal Harbour, Aventura, Miracle Mile–you get the picture. The trees can rarely get bigger than our year-long regal palm trees, but they try.

People go ham decorating the neighborhood.

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Probably because it’s not physically painful to be outside and decorate, so we can just go at it all day long.

The city views are everything.

@all_the_stuff_i_care_about / Instagram

Downtown Miami’s skyline is lit up green, red, blue and white, and the holiday cheer is contagious.

There’s something to decadent about seeing a Christmas tree in front of a warm beach.

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With so much shoreline, millions of Miamians have an ocean view. Including that lucky Frenchie, who is surprisingly not wearing reindeer antlers. Que pena.

The photo ops are abundant in Miami.

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From Santa’s Cabana on Lincoln Road to visits with tan Santa and the Hard Rock Winterfest boat parade, you can expect your Instagram feed to have a Christmas glow up.

Then, there’s the one and only Santa’s Enchanted Forest.

@florida_smart / Instagram

As a kid, it was this magical place full of lights, games and fair rides. As adults, it’s a magical place full of lights, elotes and funnel cake. Either way, you leave happy.

No child gets out of Enchanted without 200+ forced photos by their mami.

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Say something and prepare to be asked, “Y que? You’re naughty now? You know what that means.” I feel so hard for the kids of this generation since the finite film cameras are no more.

If you’re visiting Miami, pack your shorts y gafas del sol.

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And a bathing suit. Your holiday pics this year are going to be sans-parka and all tan.

In Miami, you can spend the day a la playa and the night inside an Enchanted Forest.

@santasenchanted / Twitter

Visit any one of the 24 shopping malls and plazas in the city for just as many opportunities to watch lighting ceremonies, Christmas lit boat parades, the NightGarden Magical Light Spectacular at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens and so much more. Merry Christmas to you and yours.


READ: These Christmas Pictures We Were Forced To Take As Kids Is What You Call Holiday Spirit

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A Florida Doctor Is Being Charged with a Hate Crime After Assaulting a Latino Man at a Supermarket

Things That Matter

A Florida Doctor Is Being Charged with a Hate Crime After Assaulting a Latino Man at a Supermarket

Photos via MIAMI-DADE CORRECTIONS, Getty Images

It’s an unfortunate reality that Latinos face immense amounts of racism in America. Case in point: a Florida doctor is facing hate crime charges after assaulting a Latino man at a supermarket.

According to police, a 58-year-old woman followed a Latino man out to the parking lot, keyed his car, smashed his phone, and punched him–all the while hurling racially-charged insults at him.

The altercation happened on Jan. 20th at a Publix supermarket in Hialeah, Florida–a town with a large Latino population. It all started when the victim, an unnamed Latino man, asked Dr. Jennifer Susan Wright to maintain social distancing in Spanish. After she ignored him, the man repeated the question in English.

It was at this point that Dr. Wright, who is an anesthesiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, became incensed and began muttering curse words under her breath. After the man left the grocery store, Dr. Wright followed him out to the parking lot.

She began to verbally berate him, calling him a “spic” and telling him “we should have gotten rid of you when we could.”

According to the police report, she also said: “This is not going to be Biden’s America, this is my America.” The woman then took her keys out an began to “stab the victim’s vehicle with her keys” while telling him to “go back to his country”.

The man took out his phone to call 911 and the woman allegedly punched him, causing him to drop his phone. When he bent over to pick his phone up, she allegedly kicked him and tried to stomp on his phone.

The woman fled before the police came, but she was arrested on Feb 12th at her home in Miami Springs.

The woman was initially charged with tampering with a victim, criminal mischief and battery with prejudice. The “hate crime” charge was later added, elevating the crime to a felony.

According to reports, Wright posted her $1000 bail and is now awaiting trial. Mount Sinai Medical Center released a statement saying that Dr. Wright is “no longer responsible for patient care” after assaulting a Latino man.

According to the Miami Herald, neighbors know Dr. Jennifer Wright as an ardent Trump supporter. Her social media pages are riddled with far-right, Pro-Trump memes and photos of her posing in a MAGA hat. She even uploaded a post that read: “It’s Okay To Be White.”

We can all agree that it’s “okay” to be white. It’s okay to be any race. We cannot, however, all agree that it’s okay to be a violent, racist bigot. We hope the victim has recovered and we hope Jennifer Wright will face justice.

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Socially Distanced Navidad? Here Are the Best Family Games to Play Over Zoom

Culture

Socially Distanced Navidad? Here Are the Best Family Games to Play Over Zoom

Photo: Getty Images

This Christmas, unfortunately, is going to be tough for a lot of people. With the coronavirus pandemic still waging on, many of us have had to make the tough decision to stay home for the holidays. That means no traveling out of town or visiting extended family like we have in years past.

If you come from a family that likes to get into the competitive spirit and play games over the holidays, then giving up that tradition might feel too disappointing. Luckily, we can all rely on technology to keep us connected in these trying times when we’re forced to be apart.

We’ve compiled a list of Zoom-friendly games that you can play with your family over the holidays and beyond. Take a peak at our fun picks below!

1. Charades

This one’s an easy one. All you have to do is create a Zoom link, send it out to family members and pick a topic to act out. If you’re having trouble thinking of a word, trying using a Charades word generator.

2. Card Games

Who says a little old pandemic can keep us from playing cards with our loved ones? For many of us, playing cards with our family is as steadfast a holiday tradition as exchanging gifts is. Log on to https://playingcards.io/ to create a custom game room to share with your family.

3. Bingo

Think about it: Bingo is the perfect game to play over Zoom. Websites like https://myfreebingocards.com/virtual-bingo have virtual bingo games you can play for free with up to 30 participants!

4. Heads Up!

Heads Up! is a game in which a player has to guess which word/topic is on their phone screen by the clues their team members are giving them. In order to make the most of this game, players at each Zoom location will have to download the Heads Up! app on their phone. And after that, it’s smooth sailing.

5. All Bad Cards (aka Cards Against Humanity)

If you’re the type of family that likes to push the envelope over a game of Cards Against Humanity, consider logging onto https://allbad.cards/. All you have to do is generate a party room and send the link out to the members of your “party”. Then, you’re ready to go!

6. Pictionary

Pictionary is the kind of game that Zoom was practically invented for. In order to play this game, you’ll have to fire up Zoom’s whiteboard tool and share your screen with all of the participating players. Again, if you can’t think of a topic, get some help with a Pictionary random word generator.

7. Trivial Pursuit

You’ll have to own this classic board game in order to play over Zoom, but if you do, setting it up and playing is super easy. In order to make this game user-friendly for all participants, make sure there’s someone in your location that can play on the same team as someone in a different Zoom location. That way, all the players can be sure that there’s no cheating involved.

8. Outburst

If you’re a fan of Family Feud, then Outburst is probably right up your alley. This game requires that each player brainstorm lists off of a given topic (i.e. Top Ten Christmas songs). Unfortunately, there is no virtual or online version of the game, but instead, team members can take turns coming up with topics and having other players brainstorm lists.

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