Warm Christmas Day temperatures draw out crowds on South Beach

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - For thousands of South Florida residents and visitors seen out and about on a warm Christmas Day, or the end of the first day of Hanukkah, the message was clear: White is for paper.

And what better way to burn all those calories from delicious holiday meals than to take a walk in the Florida sun?

Along the iconic Lincoln Road Mall, the sun shone all day long. “It’s the best of Florida, this time of year,” said Uri Zarif. “It’s what brings the whole country here.”

“I’m a kid from Brooklyn in Miami Beach, and if the rest of them were smart, they’d be here, too,” said Mendel Hertz.

They weren’t alone in singing the praises of the warmer-then-normal temperatures. “I’m enjoying the weather, enjoying the people. It’s beautiful,” said Steve Ellison.

Also in a celebratory mood was Mark Weinschneider. “We’re living in paradise, Zika-free, nothing to worry about,” he said.

A visit to Lincoln Road turned out to be the perfect plan for Dana Zuckerman and her two daughters. “We don’t look wintry? I thought we did,” she said. “We’re having so much fun, and what’s not to love? It is the best place in the world.”

Zuckerman said it’s that time of year to brag to friends living up north about that unbeatable South Florida sunshine.

“And the wind is blowing, so it’s perfectly made for being outside,” said one man.

“It’s in the 60s today in Atlanta, but not as nice as this,” said Ronni Solomon.

Zarif said some of the sights of the season in South Florida take some getting used to. “If you have a tree or you have a menorah without snow it doesn’t look right … [but] we’ll take it,” he said.

If a lack of snow means being able to walk around wearing a T-shirt and flip-flops, for those celebrating the holidays in South Florida, it’s a fair exchange.

“Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and enjoy this wonderful country we live in,” said Weinschneider.

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