Christmas has always been a special holiday for me. I spent every Christmas at home in Southern California until I moved to Hawaii many years ago. I always look forward to that indescribable feeling of joy that surfaces around Thanksgiving and leaves with the bustle of the New Year.
However, my Christmas’ in Hawaii didn’t start off with that feeling. It was hot. There wasn’t as much public festivity compared to the mainland. Plus, my first Christmas in Hawaii was the only one I ever celebrated alone. My roommates had gone home to Hilo. I was invited to other friends’ homes, but I wasn’t in the mood. I called home and everyone was enjoying themselves. I survived, but I didn’t want to go through that again.
But now that I have been in Hawaii for about 18 years, that Christmas feeling has come back even stronger. Having kids and a family of my own has a lot to do with that, but Hawaii has a lot to offer when it comes to holiday festivities. It seems like every community has a parade. We’ve enjoyed several of them over the years. The boat parade in Hawaii Kai stands out as one of the more unique experiences as boaters go all out and decorate their boats as they parade through the marina.
Don’t forget about the Honolulu City Lights. Large Christmas displays, wreaths, trees and other attractions can be found at Honolulu Hale throughout the month of December. This will truly bring out the holiday spirit in even the grinchiest of people. It’s even better if you relax on a trolley ride to take in all the light displays.
You’ll even find snow in Hawaii during the Holidays. I’m not talking about the top of Mauna Kea, but rather some of the shopping centers that set up small snow areas for kids, and adults, to make some Hawaiian snowmen. These snow areas are also a reminder of why we love Hawaii’s weather this time of year.
One more thing that is unique about the Holidays in Hawaii – craft fairs. You can find them all over the place and every weekend leading up to Christmas. Craft fairs are a staple for Hawaiian gift giving. Local crafters and artisans offer up their unique products for that perfect gift.
So don’t sit around the house this Holiday Season, get out there and experience Christmas in Hawaii.
Remember that no matter where you are, the Holidays are about people. Spend time with the people you love. Help the people who are less fortunate. Take care of those who took care of you. Happy Holidays!