If you live in a place where you not only dream of a White Christmas but usually get one, you might wonder: What is Christmas like in Hawaii?  In some ways it’s really different and in other ways it’s really similar.

What is Christmas like in Hawaii: surfing on Christmas day

Just the other day I was bodysurfing at Makapu’u Beach with some friends and we all made our plans to come out and surf on Christmas Day.  Why? Because we can!  I think it’s something like a bragging right. We know we live in the most incredible place on earth with the best weather anywhere. We also know our friends on the mainland are getting on their sleds, skis, or skates, and what better way to let the world know you live in the perfect tropical paradise? You go surfing on Christmas day, of course!

What is Christmas like in Hawaii: endless eating

Perhaps this is what you also do with your family but here in Hawaii,  eating with family at special events has native Hawaiian cultural roots. Here, when attending a family event, you not only bring food, but you also must partake or risk offending the hosts. If you don’t eat at a gathering, people will think that something is wrong or worse, think that you are up to something.

So how does one honor the host? By eating. A lot.  If you end up going to multiple parties, you have to eat like crazy at each one.  That makes for a very, very full stomach by the end of the day.    We have a local saying here:  “You don’t eat until you’re full. You eat until you sleep“.

What is Christmas like in Hawaii: Honolulu Christmas Lights

The City and County of Honolulu goes all-out for Christmas time and uses their public grounds to have all kinds of Christmas decorations, displays, and even kiddie rides.  If you have young children, you just can’t let Christmas go by without a visit.  Notice too how we have a Hawaiian Santa and Mrs. Claus. Our St. Nicholas is barefoot with one hand in the water and Mrs. Claus is wearing a traditional Hawaiian heirloom bracelet and sporting a stylish muumuu.

A very Mele Kalikimaka and Hauoli Makahiki Hou to you and your family!

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you and your family the merriest Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Remember, the Christmas holiday doesn’t end on Christmas day, rather it begins on that day.  The “12 days of Christmas” Carole we all know and love are based on the traditional Christian celebration period of the birth of Our Lord. Celebrate each of those 12 days!