Snow on the pumpkin? Really?? A surprise October blizzard last month turned carved-out Halloween gourds into jack-o-sicles, left a lot of people shivering through power outages and got some of us wondering just how cold will it be this winter?! According to Farmers Almanac, pretty cold: they’re forecasting a season of “Clime and Punishment” for 2011-12!
That is enough to turn anyone’s dream of a white Christmas blue! Then again, there’s nothing wrong with wishing for a blue Christmas…if it’s set in the warm state of Hawaii. In fact, the Aloha State (did I mention warm Aloha State?) is the perfect place to share in the Christmas Spirit: Aloha means “joyfully sharing life”.
Christmas Traditions with a Tropical Twist
225 years ago – on December 25th, 1786 – the captain and crew of the good ship Queen Charlotte raised their glasses to family and friends back home in England and toasted the holiday with grog made from rum and coconut milk. Anchored at Waimea Bay, Kauai, in what were then the Sandwich Islands, Captain George Dixon and his men celebrated Hawaii’s very first Christmas. 76 years later King Kamehameha IV officially decreed the Christian feast day a Hawaiian holiday.
Hawaiian-style Christmas observances incorporate Polynesian practices and allow for the lush locale: Christmas dinner might be a luau, Christmas bells are ‘rung’ on slack-key guitar and choirs sing Po La’i E (Silent Night). The Clement C. Moore classic gets a pidgin retelling as children are read “Wuz da Nite befo’ Christmas” . And the Big Man himself – Santa Claus – arrives on a beach wearing shorts and flip-flops, flashing a shaka sign and shouting “Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) to all!” He trades his sleigh for a red canoe and dolphins – not reindeer – lead the way! Hohoho!
Spreading Christmas Cheer Island Style
Yuletide merrymaking can be found on every island of the archipelago during the month of December. A calendar of events posted on Hawaii’s official tourism site The Hawaiian Islands lists 36 holiday happenings state-wide:
- On Kauai: there’s the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, featuring beautiful handmade decorations created by the late artist Josie Chansky, 12/02/11-12/31/11; Rice St.; Lihue, HI 96766
- On Lanai: The “http://www.gohawaii.com/lanai/events/internal/1014111434”>LANAI ANNUAL CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL & TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY is held on the front Lawn of the Dole building.12/03/11-12/03/11 2:00pm – 7:00pm Dole Administration Building 730 Lanai Ave, Lanai City, HI 96763
- Molokai has the CHRISTMAS LIGHT PARADE & HOOLAULEA 12/03/11; Kaunakakai Town, Kaunakakai, HI 96748
- While Oahu hosts The HAWAII STATE BALLET’S “THE NUTCRACKER” , directed by John Landovsky. 12/10/11-12/18/11 at the Mamiya Theatre, 3142 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816
- And a celebration of Jesus’ birthday takes place on the Big Island, at Hawaii’s first Christian Church with the MOKUAIKAUA CHURCH CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE , 12/24/11-12/24/11 8:00pm – 10:00pm Mokuaikaua Church; 75-5713 Alii Drive; Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
From community parades to outdoor concerts and more…so many reasons for the season!
This winter take a break from the cold and escape to the Paradise of the Pacific! Spend your holidays in Hawaii where “peace on earth and goodwill to men” is more than just a Christmas wish – it’s way of life. Mele Kalikimaka!