1. Great Lakes Christmas Ale finally hits taps.

When that first sip of local seasonal brew hits your lips, you know Christmas must be near. Grizzly Peak White Christmas White Ale, Shorts Cup A Joe, and Founder and Short’s Imperial Stout foaming out of frosted mugs remind you what the holidays are truly about Michigan. And with a stellar lineup of winter beer festivals, holiday shopping can actually become tolerable…

2. Frankenmuth. Need I say more?

Finally, it’s that time of year when all the Bronner’s billboards littering 96 luring you towards Frankenmuth are actually in season. A trip to this Christmas epicenter is absolutely essential when ringing in the holiday spirit in Michigan (or alternatively when you get the urge to celebrate Christmas in July).

3. DTE Energy profits skyrocket.

Whether you’re riding a one horse open sleigh through the lighted sculptures at Meijer Gardens, getting your mind blown at Fifth Third Ballpark for the drive through Nite Lites, taking in Silver Bells in the [Capital] City, or just taking in your neighbor’s Chevy Chase wanna-be display, the billions of twinkling lights make you wish you held stock in DTE. There’s no way in hell Santa will miss Michigan.

4. Red becomes the clothing color of choice for more reasons than one.

Although red and green have long been associated with Christmas, true Detroit fans know there’s only one good reason to wear red during winter — to ring in the hockey season. Nothing says holiday cheer like a Red Wings jersey and a trip to the good old Joe Louis.

5. Skating around in very small circles suddenly seems like fun.

Grab your friends and head to The Rink at Campus Martius Park (or whatever plaza your city decided to flood) for some good old-fashioned ice skating. There’s nothing more exciting than navigating your way through a small crowded circle of children and canoodling couples while freezing your ass off and trying not to fall flat on your face. Merry Christmas!

6. The life-size gingerbread house returns to The Royal Park Hotel.

Standing at a mighty eight feet tall, this candy creation is any sweet tooth’s wet dream. Made from 220 cups of sugar, 300 lbs. of gingerbread mix, 400 candy canes, and a shit ton of other ingredients, Hansel and Gretel would surely give their stamp of approval on this Michigan masterpiece.

7. You’re dreaming of a white Christmas.

You know the holidays must be getting closer when all the snow starts to melt. Mother Nature often gets confused and provides Michigan with a white Thanksgiving instead of a white Christmas. But we will continue to hold out hope that Joe Kopecek brings good news on Christmas morn…

8. The town of Christmas becomes a “destination.”

You can’t have a Michigan Christmas without a visit to Christmas, Michigan! Driving two hours north of the bridge will bring you straight to Santa’s Workshop where you can snap a photo with the world’s tallest Santa and world’s largest concrete Frosty the Snowman to post on Instagram. And that’s what the holiday are all about, right?!

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