“Mele Kalikimaka,” I’d say with a smile to my neighbors, friends and family. Mele Kalikimaka, meaning Merry Christmas is a common phrase used in Hawaii during the holiday season. This is a phrase I look forward to hearing towards the end of every year.

The islands become very festive for the Christmas season. Throughout the month, Hawaii celebrates Christmas with contemporary holiday musical and theatrical performances.

However the most exciting thing I look forward to is Christmas in Downtown Honolulu. The first Saturday in December, Downtown Honolulu is struck by the annual evening Honolulu City Lights holiday displays. Driving to the festivity you’ll see the light decorations strung through the city of China town and along Downtown Honolulu office buildings. Thousands gather front of the Honolulu Hale, waiting for the city’s official 50 foot Norfolk Pine Christmas tree to be lit by the Mayor.

As the evening prolongs, enjoy an electric light parade that delivers the Christmas spirit from floats, marching bands and lit vehicles. Try local foods from various food booths while listening to live entertainment. Take pictures along side unique decorated gingerbread houses, wreath displays, island decorated Christmas trees and festive colorful Christmas statues. Every year a different Christmas theme is made which makes every year admirable.

The main attraction in Downtown Honolulu is the Hawaiian style 21 foot tall “Shaka Santa.” He sits relaxed with his toes slightly above the Honolulu Hale fountain, like a vacation in Hawaii before his next stop. By his side is his wife “Tutu Mele,” dressed in a Hawaiian mu’umu’u, both smiling for a great picture moment.

Children and adults across the islands can share their wish list and take pictures with Santa Claus at Ala Moana shopping center. The largest outdoor mall that is dressed with festive wreaths, lit Christmas trees and large beautiful designed ornaments. On center stage of the mall, local choir sings traditional Christmas carols that can be heard throughout Ala Moana shopping center, giving a more seasonal shopping experience.

Christmas in Hawaii is very memorable. The weather outside is pleasant and only during the winter season in the evening time Hawaii can get below 60 degrees. If you want a unique way of celebrating this holiday, step into the island style of Christmas and indulge in the sun during the winter season. Rapture the Christmas spirit of Hawaii. Mele Kalikimaka a me Haou’oli Makahiki Hou, meaning Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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