JOANNA ELM, Author, Journalist, Attorney

Christmas Trees, Santas and A Grinch – Palm Beach Style


The first time Joe and I lived in Florida in the early 90s, we moved there in December. It felt strange to see Christmas trees and Santas and creches on church lawns in temperatures reaching 85-90 degrees. This time around when we visit during the holidays, it no longer feels strange.

However, I must say, even I was perplexed by the Christmas tree erected in the newly refurbished Royal Poinciana Plaza in Palm Beach (first photo below.) I asked the two valets waiting to park cars at the entrance about it. One replied,”It’s made of surfboards.” I threw him a puzzled look. “Palm Beach says beach, ocean, surfboards. See the connection?” Frankly, I did not. Whatever else Palm Beach says ( old people, money, retirement) it most definitely does not say “surfboards” to me.

Creche and Toy Soldiers Are Favorites

Shopping Palm Beach Style

Because There’s Always A Grinch…

But Then He Leaves, Yay!




  1. This is our first Christmas in Florida and finding quite different. We put lights on our palm tree in the front yard. Most of the neighbors decorated their houses and/or yards which like up north. My husband and I are planning on spend some time on Christmas Day at the beach. I thought it would be a Florida thing to do and then I’m going to call my 3 brothers and my sister and go haha as they are getting storms in New England.

    Merry Christmas Joanna to you and yours!!

    • Have a terrific first Florida Christmas, Paula. Have you got some “beach” reads with you? If yes, perhaps you can share what they are?

      • I always have books to take to the beach with me. I just received 1 books in the mail that I won. I See You by Clare Mackintosh and Murder of an Open Book by Denise Swanson. I love a good mystery at the beach or any where. Merry Christmas All!!!!

  2. I am thinking about reading Clare Mackintosh’s I See You, but hesitate because I Let You Go did not bowl me over. I’ll wait to see how you rate or review it, Paula. Happy reading, and a Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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