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How to Survive a Christmas in Hawaii

Updated on October 18, 2010

Have you ever thought about spending Christmas in Hawaii? Do tropical breezes, sunny skies, and mai tais on the beach sound like the makings of a perfect holiday vacation? Well, let me tell you, Christmas in Hawaii isn’t easy ... you need to have what it takes to survive.

It came in the mail the other day: a large glossy-paper catalog full of wasted advertising. You’d think L.L. Bean would just delete Hawaii addresses for their winter catalog, but they don’t. Pages upon pages of winter coats and flannel pajamas glare up at me in scornful mockery. One of these days, I might just buy a fleece-lined parka out of spite.

Now don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I don’t like winter or winter clothing or winter catalogs. Actually, it’s the other way around. Those sappy pictures of smiling models hugging fleecy puppies around their way-too-perfect Christmas trees spark, not disgust, but jealousy. Well, I’m not exactly jealous ... I just ... love ... snow ... and cold ... white ... Christmases. OK, so I’ve said it. I like Christmas to be cold.

Christmas in Hawaii isn’t generally what you would call cold. I guess my blood’s thinned out by now, because I wear socks and sweatshirts if the temperature gets down to 70. But seriously, sunshine and palm trees on Christmas day? Yeah right.

But Christmas in Hawaii isn’t all that bad. Christmas is Christmas, no matter how warm. As long as the Christmas spirit is kept alive, tropical heat waves really don’t matter that much. I really mean that. I guess I can live another year without snow.


But since you're probably not desensitized to the heat like I am, I thought I'd help you out, if indeed you do decide to spend the holidays in the tropics, with some encouragement to be brave as well as some practical tips for survival. If Obama can survive a Christmas in Hawaii, so can you.

First off, I would like to encourage you to be yourself. Just because everyone around you is decked out in swimming trunks and snorkel gear doesn't mean you have to be. Follow in Santa's bootprints. Notice how calm he is in this picture, sitting outside in the balmy eighty degree weather, completely oblivious to the heat in his steadfast celebration of Christmas. He probably thinks that the sweat falling down his forehead is due to the fuzzy warm feeling in his heart.

Santa in Hawaii
Santa in Hawaii

Get out your winter wardrobe. Although close-toed shoes are nearly prohibited in the Hawaiian islands, Christmas socks look just as good with flip-flops.

socks in your slippahs
socks in your slippahs

Something I like to do when I'm getting the no-snow blues is to order one of those holiday-flavored coffees from that coffee chain that is omnipresent even in Hawaii. Take warning that hot coffee will raise your body temperature, so you may want to either order a cold one, or turn up the air conditioning.

Making gingerbread houses is a great way to get in the Christmas spirit. I mean, what could be better than a house made of candy? Gingerbread houses in Hawaii are even better because you have to eat them the very day of construction to prevent the candy from melting.

gingerbread house
gingerbread house

Set the mood with holiday music. Sing along to the Twelve Days of Christmas, Hawaiian Style. Ukuleles and grass skirts are required.

 So what if Christmas tree farms are nonexistent in Hawaii...decorate a palm tree! To create an evergreen scent, just light one of those scented candles. Please note: you may want to remove the coconuts before setting up your tree.

decorated palm trees
decorated palm trees

Considering that candy canes melt at room temperature in Hawaii, you may want to invest in some unmeltable Hawaiian-themed ornaments.

The best thing about Christmas in Hawaii is that you can still go to beach. Just don't go swimming if the water looks like this.

winter waves in Hawaii
winter waves in Hawaii

When at the beach, make a Christmas-themed sand sculpture to memorialize your dedication to Christmas in all climate conditions. No ice picks required.

Christmas sand sculpture
Christmas sand sculpture

Ring a bell and then give a sand angel her wings. Making sand angels is actually a lot of fun. An added benefit to making angels in the sand rather the snow is the exfoliation for your skin. Free spa treatment!

sand angel
sand angel

Learn how to say "Mele Kalikimaka" which is Hawaiian for "Merry Christmas." There's a song for that too. May-lay Ka-lee-kee-mah-kah. By the way, I love Ingrid Michaelson's voice.

Could you spend Christmas in Hawaii?

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    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan

      Danette, so you know what it's like! It's quite an experience :)

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      I was stationed in Panama about 18 months back in the late 1970s. Christmas in a tropical climate is different, that's for sure.

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 7 years ago from Michigan

      Hello vinsanity, thank you for stopping by! Christmas without snow was definitely a new experience for me. I totally miss it!

    • profile image

      vinsanity 7 years ago

      Hey I really enjoyed this hub. I love having snow on Christmas but it would very interesting to see a Christmas with no snow!

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 7 years ago from Michigan

      Hi Il_Padrino, don't hate on the snow! It's lovely... Everywhere has its beauty! :) Thanks for visiting!

    • Il_Padrino profile image

      Il_Padrino 7 years ago

      I hate snow. I hate winter. I dream about Christmas like here. Great thing. I'm jealous.

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 7 years ago from Michigan

      eculligan, feel free to send some of that beautiful Pennsylvania snow to me! I miss it :( Thanks for reading!

    • eculligan profile image

      eculligan 7 years ago

      I live in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and we see snow. It would be a very interesting year to celebrate Christmas on the beach. Nice hub

      If your interested in great Christmas songs please see my hub

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for stopping by lulubell!

    • lulubell1798 profile image

      lulubell1798 7 years ago

      lol, I love the president video ! Good hub, very interesting!

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 7 years ago from Michigan

      dallas, thanks for your visit! Yes, Christmas is great anywhere, but I wouldn't mind a little snow :)

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Since my graduation from Chaminade University "years ago," things have changed - a lot there! Christmas as you noted is great anywhere. Thanks for sharing..!

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 8 years ago from Michigan

      Aloha to you too elayne001! It has been getting chilly at night lately...I actually wore socks the other day :) Who knows, we might still get a white Christmas. I heard tell that there was snow in Oahu in the 1800s...unofficially of course.

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Aloha - I live here in Hawaii too. It was pretty chilly tonight - probably high 60s or low 70s lol. I understand your missing a white Christmas. It took me a few years to get used to it too. Mele Kalikimaka!

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 8 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for reading and laughing, Lowell's Notes! I had a lot of fun putting this together.

    • Lowell's Notes profile image

      Lowell's Notes 8 years ago

      I have never thought of Hawaii and survive in the same sentence--so, I was smiling before I read this--and laughing when I finished. Great writing! Thanks!

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 8 years ago from Michigan

      Joy, wise choice of words ;)

      itakins, thanks for stopping by!

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 8 years ago from Irl

      I love this hub-nice mix of information, spread generously with humour.

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 8 years ago from United States

      That's why I limited my statement to *probably* not during Christmas. ;-)

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 8 years ago from Michigan

      Exactly, Quill! We celebrate Jesus no matter where we are, even in the land of melted candy canes. I'm glad I could bring out some of the cultural difference...that's what I'm going for!

      Joy, so glad you could laugh along with me! Beware what you say ... I never used to think I would ever spend Christmas in Hawaii either.

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 8 years ago from United States

      This hub is hilarious! I might like to visit sometime...but probably not during Christmas. I'll keep my insulated coveralls and almost frost-bit fingers. :-)

    • profile image

      "Quill" 8 years ago

      Really does it matter where we are as long as we recognize the reason for the celebration. Cold, hot, wet or dry our hearts are reminded of the birth of our Savior.

      From your Hub I love the culture difference that you have shown, even to a point of sharing with Mrs. Quill we need to experience something different next year. Thank you for the look into the celebrations there and God bless you as you do His work where you are. Just think of us all bundled up in our parkas, boots, mitts and we can all praise God for the birth of Jesus.

      Many Blessings and Hugs

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 8 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, I love cold weather, I admit it. I love Hawaii too though, and this is where God has me right now in my life. I've lived lots of different places, and the more I move, the more I realize that I can be happy and content anywhere. (OK, OK, sometimes I like to be sarcastic about Hawaii; it's just so much fun.) Maybe someday I'll be back on the mainland freezing my fingers off, but right now I'm going to enjoy the sunshine and try not to miss the snow too much.

      Thanks for your comment and compliment, Dohn!

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Since you just admitted that you love the cold, I gotta ask...What are you doing in Hawaii? :D The more I think about it, the more certain I am that I want to stay in the Northeast, as this is where I see myself growing old. However, I can see why the elderly prefer to live in Florida...Who knows, maybe I'll see you when I reach that age!

      I like how you gave great ideas (or showcased what you do) to celebrate Christmas in the tropics. Great hub!


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