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Christmas in Hawaii Traditions

Updated on November 13, 2016
Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

June is from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, but is currently residing in N.Y. She loves to cook and heal naturally with the plants from her garden.

Snow or Not ~ It's Christmas in Hawaii

Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaiian for Merry Christmas.

Christmas traditions in Hawaii are very unique, as there is no one tradition. On all of the islands, there is a merging of many different nationalities that over the years have melded the dividing lines together.

Out of this poi bowl, or melting pot, of different nationalities we have emerged and gained many different and unique Christmas traditions. Many of us can't even remember what it was like to have just one Christmas tradition in Hawaii if there ever was one.

Nothing in Hawaii can really be claimed as traditional because of this blending which makes for a wonderful and colorful way to celebrate. My own family is a good example of this as we are a combination of Hawaiian, Haole, Filipino, Chinese and Japanese all mixed together.

Hele on (come along) with me to get a feel of what it is like to have Christmas in Hawaii.

Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Source
Christmas in Hawaii-kids paddling canoe on Christmas day in Hawaii
Christmas in Hawaii-kids paddling canoe on Christmas day in Hawaii

It Snows in Hawaii?

The Island of Hawaii, better known as the Big Island, is the largest island in the Hawaiian Islands chain.

When you think of Christmas in Hawaii, probably the first thing that comes to your mind is warm weather, lots of sunshine, palm trees swaying in the breeze and frolicking on beautiful white sandy beaches.

I can bet that the last thing that comes to mind when thinking of a Christmas vacation in Hawaii is snow on the ground or chestnuts roasting over an open fire in the fireplace.

Believe it or not, we do have snow on the Big Island of Hawaii during the Christmas season. You have to drive a distance to get to it, but we do have snow in Hawaii!

Yes, Virginia ~ It Does Snow in Hawaii!

No Chestnuts Roasting Over an Open Fire In Hawaii for Christmas

North of Kailua-Kona, in the Waimea-Kamuela-Kohala area, it does get a might bit chillier than Kona, during the Christmas season. Some say that it gets downright cold if you consider the mid 40's to mid 50's cold.

Cold in Kohala is nothing like cold in the northern regions of the mainland, though, but cold enough that some of the homes in this northern part of the island are equipped with fireplaces and potbelly stoves.

However, you won't find anyone roasting chestnuts over their open fires. Maybe kukui nuts, or macadamia nuts, but not chestnuts. Chestnuts are not grown in Hawaii; nor is holly or mistletoe.

For the most part, at sea level, Hawaii is on average a balmy 86 degrees most everywhere else during the Christmas season and all year long. Except for.....

Mauna Kea ~ The Snow Topped Volcano - Tropical Storms Bring Snow to Mauna Kea

Christmas in Hawaii with Snow on Top of Mauna Kea
Christmas in Hawaii with Snow on Top of Mauna Kea | Source

Winter Snowboarding in Hawaii on Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii

Marty Snowboarding Mauna Kea Hawaii
Marty Snowboarding Mauna Kea Hawaii | Source

Winter on Top of Mauna Kea - Hawai'i Snowboarder

Forest Light Murphy Shaka Brah on the Slopes Mauna Kea Volcano on Big Island of Hawaii
Forest Light Murphy Shaka Brah on the Slopes Mauna Kea Volcano on Big Island of Hawaii | Source

Snowboarder Nyree on Mauna Kea - Photography by Sparky Leigh

Snowboarder Nyree Sails Past Me with a Smile. Mauna Kea - Big Island of Hawaii
Snowboarder Nyree Sails Past Me with a Smile. Mauna Kea - Big Island of Hawaii | Source

Snow Boarding in Blizzard Conditions Mauna Kea - All Photos by Brent Norris

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Photos of Snow Boarder Braddas Ike, Keahi and Wayne BoyPhoto of Snow Boarder on Mauna Kea, Big Island of HawaiiPhoto of Snow Boarding in Hawaii Photo of Snow Boarders Mauna Kea Big Island Fun. Snow Boarding Hawaii During Blizzard Conditions January 2009Keahi Snow Boarding Poi Bowl at Mauna Kea Hawaii December 2009Photo of Snow Boarder Climbing up the Mountain Blizzard Conditions March 2004 by Snowboarding Mauna Kea Hawaii December 2009.Snowboarding Mauna Kea Hawaii
Photos of Snow Boarder Braddas Ike, Keahi and Wayne Boy
Photos of Snow Boarder Braddas Ike, Keahi and Wayne Boy | Source
Photo of Snow Boarder on Mauna Kea, Big Island of Hawaii
Photo of Snow Boarder on Mauna Kea, Big Island of Hawaii | Source
Photo of Snow Boarding in Hawaii
Photo of Snow Boarding in Hawaii | Source
Photo of Snow Boarders Mauna Kea Big Island Fun.
Photo of Snow Boarders Mauna Kea Big Island Fun. | Source
Snow Boarding Hawaii During Blizzard Conditions January 2009
Snow Boarding Hawaii During Blizzard Conditions January 2009 | Source
Keahi Snow Boarding Poi Bowl at Mauna Kea Hawaii December 2009
Keahi Snow Boarding Poi Bowl at Mauna Kea Hawaii December 2009 | Source
Photo of Snow Boarder Climbing up the Mountain Blizzard Conditions March 2004 by
Photo of Snow Boarder Climbing up the Mountain Blizzard Conditions March 2004 by | Source
Snowboarding Mauna Kea Hawaii December 2009.
Snowboarding Mauna Kea Hawaii December 2009. | Source
Snowboarding Mauna Kea Hawaii
Snowboarding Mauna Kea Hawaii | Source

I had never seen the snow fall until I was 35 years old and went to Colorado. When you live in Kona you don't ever seem to be on the top of Mauna Kea when it is snowing. When you wake up in the morning and see there are snow caps on Mauna Kea, that is when you make ready for the long drive to go up the mountain to play in it.

Incidentally, Mauna Kea, at over 19,000 feet above sea level and over 33,000 feet for the whole mountain, is the tallest mountain in the world, taller than Mt. Everest in the Himalayas. The elevation above sea level tends to fluctuate according to the ocean levels. The ocean is lower now than it was in the past. Global warming????

Because it does take a few hours to drive to the summit, often when you get there the snow has turned to ice because of the sun beating down on it, making skiing impossible.

Every now and then, when we've had a particularly heavy storm, there will be flooding at sea level. Then the snow at the summit will be deep enough and the high altitude weather cold enough, to ski or snowboard. The snow has to be very deep to ski, however. If it is not, it is not safe. The lava rock, when covered with snow can be deceiving, and has been the ruin of many vacations when skiers run into the rocks thinking they are snow drifts.

For our family, none of us knew how to ski. We would go up mauka (up the mountain) to play in the snow. We would build snowmen, have snowball fights and go "sledding" down the mountain on flattened cardboard boxes, paipo boards, bogey boards, or inner tubes. Anything that's available! Good fun!!

Nowadays many of our surfers have turned snowboarders when the snow is flying. If I was still young that is exactly what I would be doing too! Whoohoo!

Back then, when we grew weary of the cold, the lunch we had packed was eaten, and the cocoa and coffee were gone, we would fill the ice cooler with snowballs and back down the mountain we would go to Hapuna Beach.

The closer we would get to the beach the more layers of clothing were removed. By the time we arrived at Hapuna we were all in our swim suits throwing snowballs on the beach!

One Big Hawaiian Bradda Throwing Snowballs On the Beach

One Big Hawaiian Man Throwing a Snowball on the Beach
One Big Hawaiian Man Throwing a Snowball on the Beach | Source

Tossing a Ball at Hapuna Beach

Tossing Ball on Hapuna Beach
Tossing Ball on Hapuna Beach | Source

This is the beach where we would go to throw the snowballs at our cousins, after leaving the top of Mauna Kea.

Mele Kalikimaka from the Best Shave Ice in Kona

This video was shot in Kailua-Kona at the little beach across the street from The Scandinavian Shave Ice shop on Ali'i Drive in Kona.

Look at what the girls are throwing on the beach - woohoo! Looks like snow from Mauna Kea, but it's Shave Ice from the Scandinavian Shave Ice store. Just their way of saying Mele Kalikimaka!

Hawaiian Christmas Traditions

Christmas in Hawaii

O Da Kine Hawaiian Kine Christmas Trees

Bringing Home the Christmas Tree

Hawaiian Christmas Cards  - Surfing Holidays by Eddy Yamamoto
Hawaiian Christmas Cards - Surfing Holidays by Eddy Yamamoto | Source

Cutting or Buying a Christmas Tree in Hawaii

Source

If you live in the big city of Honolulu on Oahu, more than likely you will buy a tree that has been shipped in from the mainland or from one of the Christmas tree farms from one of the outer islands. We grow our own trees on some farms on the Big Island, on Maui and Kaua'i.

The favorite imported trees are the blue spruce and the Douglas fir, but many of us grow our own trees right in our own yards. The only time I remember ever buying a tree was when I was living on Oahu for school. Usually we would go up mauka (into the mountains) and cut a tree. There are many different varieties of pine growing in Hawaii, especially in Kohala on th Big Island. Most of the time we were very lucky and would find a wonderful, fragrant tree to bring home. Douglas firs are my favorite, but the Colorado Blue Spruce is easier to find

Waimanalo, Oahu Christmas Tree Farm
Waimanalo, Oahu Christmas Tree Farm | Source

Norfolk pines from Australia grow prolifically on the Big Island. It's always easy to find one of them, but we would usually pass them by unless it was our only choice. They are not very pretty (too symmetrical for my taste); their pine needles are very waxy, looking artificial; and they don't have any scent. In fact, they do look like artificial trees and they do last forever, though, just like an artificial tree!

I have had good luck rooting them and replanting after the holidays. You know what that means, though, don't you? Another tree to decorate in the backyard next year! Woohoo!

The people of Hawaii are very creative and can come up with many different ideas not only for decorating the trees but also for the trees themselves. We will decorate the coconut trees, the palm trees, the mango trees, the banana trees, the avocado trees, the kiawe trees, the kukui nut trees - it doesn't matter. If you have a tree or a bush growing in your yard, "we going decorate it"!

Unique Christmas Tree Decorating in Hawaii - Christmas Decorations are as Varied as the People of Hawaii

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Decorating the banana tree is always funHang an ornament with the yellow hibiscusIt's time to decorate the hibiscus bushThe keawe tree needs some Christmas cheerWe musn't forget the ti plant in the backyard!Hawaiian style Christmas wrap. Notice the lauhala boxes.A Christmas wreath made of all natural vegetation from the Volcano area,Decorate the bamboo plant in front of the Chinese restaurant entrance.These are opihi shell Christmas trees. Nice, yea?Coconut Tree Wrapped with Christmas Lights
Decorating the banana tree is always fun
Decorating the banana tree is always fun
Hang an ornament with the yellow hibiscus
Hang an ornament with the yellow hibiscus
It's time to decorate the hibiscus bush
It's time to decorate the hibiscus bush
The keawe tree needs some Christmas cheer
The keawe tree needs some Christmas cheer
We musn't forget the ti plant in the backyard!
We musn't forget the ti plant in the backyard!
Hawaiian style Christmas wrap. Notice the lauhala boxes.
Hawaiian style Christmas wrap. Notice the lauhala boxes.
A Christmas wreath made of all natural vegetation from the Volcano area,
A Christmas wreath made of all natural vegetation from the Volcano area,
Decorate the bamboo plant in front of the Chinese restaurant entrance.
Decorate the bamboo plant in front of the Chinese restaurant entrance.
These are opihi shell Christmas trees. Nice, yea?
These are opihi shell Christmas trees. Nice, yea?
Coconut Tree Wrapped with Christmas Lights
Coconut Tree Wrapped with Christmas Lights

Poinsettias - Captain Cook, Kona Hawaii

Poinsettias grow wild along the Kona Coast and starting in October is when they begin their color change. By the time Christmas rolls around they are in full bloom.

It is difficult to tell in the photo, but these poinsettias are rather old plants and are actually trees and not close to the ground plants.

Poinsettia Christmas Tree - Hapuna Hawaii

Poinsettia Christmas Tree - Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Poinsettia Christmas Tree - Kailua-Kona, Hawaii | Source

The is a Christmas tree made entirely out of Poinsettia plants. I think Bill Adams took this photo at one of the resort hotels in Kawaihae, by Hapuna Beach, but I'm not sure.

On Oahu, the Kahala Sheraton builds a poinsettia tree in their lobby every Christmas.

Hawaii-lauhala-christmas-ornaments
Hawaii-lauhala-christmas-ornaments

Decorating the Christmas Tree in Hawaii

I love Christmas! I love the lights and the decorations. Living in Hawai'i, there is such a diverse mixture of cultures that have migrated from every part of the world, that the decorations have taken on many creative twist and turns. They range from traditional to the bazaar and everything in between.

All of these differences continue to meld into unique and beautiful creations where cultural lines are so mixed it is difficult to tell where one begins and ends. It all mixes together to just be called "local style". And what exactly is "local style"? It's whatever the local people of Hawai'i are doing. It's a conglomeration of everything "local" and this is never more evident than at Christmas.

As we say in Hawaii in our own Pigeon English, "Eh, bra, it's like what eva you like do is o.k. by me. Ain't no big ting!"


Miniature Hawaii Christmas Tree - Woven with Lauhala

Miniature Lauhala Ornament Hawaii Christmas Tree
Miniature Lauhala Ornament Hawaii Christmas Tree | Source

This sweet miniature Hawaii Christmas tree has been decorated with tiny woven lauhala ornaments.

Mele Kalikimaka by Jimmy Buffett

Homemade Star Fish Christmas Ornament
Homemade Star Fish Christmas Ornament

Seashell Themed Christmas Trees

I have had many a seashell themed Christmas tree in Hawaii. I decorated the trees with seashells, starfish, opihi shells, sand dollars, sea urchin shells and sea urchin quills that I had found on the beach and crafted into Christmas tree ornaments.

A miniature tree decorated with tiny seashells and tiny starfish make a great accent piece for a guest room, a dining room table centerpiece or a bathroom.

Seashells may not be readily available where you live. If that is the case, you can still create a lovely seashell themed tree by purchasing shells on eBay or at your local craft store and make them yourself. You can also buy them at any number of places on the Internet.

Hawaiian Quilting

Hawaiian Hand Quilted & Hand Appliqued Christmas Tree Skirt

Hawaiian quilting is all appliqued by hand as is the quilting. All of the stunning patterns are created from flowers, trees and plants in nature which grow in the islands. The quality of the designs comes more from the spirit of the islands than it does from the painstaking intrigue stitches of the quilter.

The quality of the designs comes more from the spirit of the islands than it does from the painstaking intrigue stitches of the quilter.

In today's world, the Hawaiian quilting techniques have migrated to the creation of Christmas tree skirts and Christmas stockings.

The skirt featured on the right was inspired by the red hibiscus flowers which are so popular in Hawaii.

Hawaiian Quilt Christmas Stockings
Hawaiian Quilt Christmas Stockings | Source

Honolulu City Lights Christmas Show

Honolulu City Lights Has Been Celebrating Christmas for the Last 26 Years - Notice Mrs. Claus in Her Muumuu and Santa Saying "Shaka Bradda"!

Honolulu City Lights Christmas Tree at Night

Honolulu City Lights Christmas Tree During the Day

Santa's in Hawaii

"Kanakaloka" is Santa in Hawaiian

Santa's Making His Rounds in Hawai'i Arrives in Waikiki

Every year you will see Santa making his rounds from one island to the next, but you will seldom see him in a traditional red velvet Santa suit except at the mall. Otherwise, Santa is traveling Hawaiian style. When visiting the Hawaiian state he dresses in casual clothing for the beautiful sunshine weather.

Sometimes you'll see him wearing Hawaiian-style surfer jam aloha print shorts and sometimes palaka style shorts. Sometimes he'll be wearing a Hawaiian palaka shirt with aloha print shorts.

Sometimes you will see him in a Santa suit jacket and palaka shorts. You never know what you will see Santa wearing when you catch him visiting.

Santa Gets a Warm Welcome in Waikiki

Yee Haw! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Christmas-in-Hawaii-Santa-riding-dolphin
Christmas-in-Hawaii-Santa-riding-dolphin

Santa Claus Wears Palaka Shorts and Rubber Slippers When Visiting in Hawaii!

Often you can see yard displays of Santa wearing an aloha shirt, palaka (red & white plaid broadcloth fabric) shorts or Hawaiian print shorts and rubber slippers (flip flops), sitting in a canoe on the lawn. Dolphins are substituted for the reindeer and Menehunes are substituted for the elves!

In Honolulu, there are usually big displays of Santa with Mrs Claus wearing their aloha attire. Santa in his aloha shirt and Mrs. Claus wearing her aloha print muumuu.

Santa with His "Sleigh" in Kailua-Kona Village on the Big Island

Christmas- in Hawaii - Santa with his sleigh
Christmas- in Hawaii - Santa with his sleigh | Source

Take notice of the "antlers" on Santa's headlights, his sandals and palaka (broad print cloth) shorts!

Santa's in Hawaii and Getting Ready to Ride - Santa's getting ready to cruise!

Christmas in Hawaii - Santa wearing shorts
Christmas in Hawaii - Santa wearing shorts | Source

HAWAIIAN MUSIC & DANCE

Let's Take A Break For A Little Christmas Fun

Sing-a-Long to the Numbah One Day of Christmas

Let's Listen to da "Numbah One Day of Christmas" ~ Local style ~ Pidgin English ~ "12 Days of Christmas". Listen once den hana hou (play it again) and sing along with da braddas!

You can go find da kine lyrics below.

Da Kine Lyrics to "Numbah One Day of Christmas" - Hawaiian Style "12 Days of Christmas"

Go ahead and gather the keikis (kids) to Sing-a-Long to da Hawai'ian "Numbah One Day of Christmas" .

It'll be fun! Go ahead. You know you want too!

  1. Numbah One day of Christmas, my tutu give to me One mynah bird in one papaya tree.
  2. Numbah Two day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Two coconut, an' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
  3. Numbah Tree day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
  4. Numbah Foah day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
  5. Numbah Five day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Five beeg fat peeg... foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
  6. Numbah Seex day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg... foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
  7. Numbah Seven day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg... foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
  8. Numbah Eight day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg... foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
  9. Numbah Nine day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Nine pound of poi, eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg... foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
  10. Numbah Ten day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Ten can of beer, nine pound of poi, eight ukuklele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg... foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
  11. Numbah Eleven day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Eleven missionary, ten can of beer, nine pound of poi, eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg... foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
  12. Numbah Twelve day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Twelve television, eleven missionary, ten can of beer, nine pound of poi, eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg... foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree!

Music and Dance in the Hawaiian Islands is an Important Part of Our Hawai'ian Culture

The Joyous Sound of the 'Ukulele by Peggy Chun
The Joyous Sound of the 'Ukulele by Peggy Chun | Source

Music and dance are a huge part of our lives in Hawai'i, and the spirit of Christmas goes hand-in-hand with the spirit of aloha. The people of Hawai'i have sweet and loving natures with hearts as large as the ocean that surrounds this small, but magical island chain.

All of the traditional Christmas carols have been translated into the Hawai'ian language, but the Hawai'ians did not stop there. Hawai'ian Christmas music continues to be created every Christmas season.

The music is so beautiful and heartfelt it will bring tears to your eyes when you feel the deep emotion within the music and are able to witness the beauty of the hula that accommodates the music. Hula is the essence of the spirit of aloha and the spirit (mana) of Hawaii.


Ke Au Maluhia (Season of Peace) - Recorded by Keali'i Reichel

Koa Wood Ukulele
Koa Wood Ukulele | Source

Koa Wood Ukulele

Traditionally, the music is played on Hawai'ian style "slack-key" guitars and accompanied by ukuleles.

The koa wood ukuleles (shown on right) are some of the finest ukulele made in Hawaii. Koa wood is indigenous to Hawaii and is some of the most beautiful wood in the world.

Even though HubPages stretches the images larger than they should be, by default, you can still see how gorgeous the grains of the wood are and the tone coming out of a koa wood ukulele is an exquisite mellow rich sound that is difficult to surpass.

The ukulele was originally brought to the Hawaiian Islands by a Portuguese immigrant named Manuel Nunes in 1879.

The original stringed instrument was a small 5-string instrument called a Rajao which was converted into a smaller instrument called the Braguinha from Braga.

Nunes was from a small community on an island called Madeira (originally settled by the Celts of Braga). The instrument was called a “little guitar” when played in Hawaii by Portuguese seamen, traders and immigrants.

The name ukulele was coined by Queen Liliʻuokalani, our last reigning Hawaiian monarch. She considered the uke to be a great gift which came here from far away. Hence uku (gift or reward) and lele (to come).

Mele Kalikimaka Ei Nei

Everyone knows the song "Mele Kalikimaka" that Bing Crosby made famous, but this is a real Hawaiian style Mele Kalikimaka.

Mele Kalikimaka by Patrick Landeza

Patrick Landeza is singing Mele Kalikimaka accompanied with a "slack key" guitar.

The Ohana (Family) Celebrates with Hawaiian Christmas Carols & Hula

Hawaii Christmas Trivia - Did You Know?

Christmas was not celebrated at all in Hawaii in the 1800's because of the missionary influence. The missionaries did not believe in celebrating Christmas as they believed it to be a Pagan holiday.

In the year of our Lord 1835, King Kamehameha III declared December 25th to be an official holiday as a day of "Giving Thanks".

It wasn't until 1837 when the Roman Catholic Jesuit priests were celebrating Christmas aboard ship while anchored in Waianae Bay on Oahu that the day was then called "Christmas" to celebrate the birth of Christ. Christmas caught on and eventually the King changed his royal proclamation from a day of "Giving Thanks" to "Christmas".

It wasn't until 1843 that Christmas became official.


Traditional Hawaiian Christmas Food

Feasting in Hawaii

There really aren't any "traditional Christmas meals" in Hawaii. Some cultures will stubbornly cling to their immigrant backgrounds, but for the most part, Christmas dinners are a big bowl of poi. In other words, they are all mixed up with a little bit of this and a little bit of that from all the ethnic backgrounds Hawaii is proud to claim.

Partly because of my father's haole background, and partly because the beef from Parker Ranch was excellent and plentiful, most times on Christmas Eve we either roasted a beef tenderloin or a prime rib.

On Christmas Day, however, my Hawai'ian relatives would throw a luau. But even at the luaus it wasn't all Hawai'ian food either. There was traditional Hawai'ian food, Japanese food; Chinese food; Filipino food; Korean food, Portuguese food; Spanish and Mexican food; Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, Maori and Guamanian food; and haole food, which covers all Celtic and European food. One time we had visitors from the mainland that brought Ethiopian food!

Da Kine Grinds - "Traditional" Food in Hawaii

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hawaiian Kalua PorkLau Lau (pork, butter fish and taro leaves)Lomi Lomi SalmonMacaroni salad ~ an island favoriteHawaiian Ahi Poke - raw ahi (tuna), green onion, Hawaiian chili pepper, soy sauce and limu (seaweedOpihi (raw limpets)Crispy Gau Gee Mein (Chinese fried gau gee with cake noodles and vegetables)Shoyu Chicken (evolved from Japanese teriyaki using Hawaii Aloha soy sauce)Filipino Lumpia (similar to Chinese spring rolls)Haupia (coconut pudding) with pineapple
Hawaiian Kalua Pork
Hawaiian Kalua Pork | Source
Lau Lau (pork, butter fish and taro leaves)
Lau Lau (pork, butter fish and taro leaves) | Source
Lomi Lomi Salmon
Lomi Lomi Salmon | Source
Macaroni salad ~ an island favorite
Macaroni salad ~ an island favorite | Source
Hawaiian Ahi Poke - raw ahi (tuna), green onion, Hawaiian chili pepper, soy sauce and limu (seaweed
Hawaiian Ahi Poke - raw ahi (tuna), green onion, Hawaiian chili pepper, soy sauce and limu (seaweed | Source
Opihi (raw limpets)
Opihi (raw limpets)
Crispy Gau Gee Mein (Chinese fried gau gee with cake noodles and vegetables)
Crispy Gau Gee Mein (Chinese fried gau gee with cake noodles and vegetables) | Source
Shoyu Chicken (evolved from Japanese teriyaki using Hawaii Aloha soy sauce)
Shoyu Chicken (evolved from Japanese teriyaki using Hawaii Aloha soy sauce) | Source
Filipino Lumpia (similar to Chinese spring rolls)
Filipino Lumpia (similar to Chinese spring rolls) | Source
Haupia (coconut pudding) with pineapple
Haupia (coconut pudding) with pineapple | Source

Christmas Luau Kaukau (Food)

More Grinds You May Find at a Da Kine Hawaiian Christmas Luau

  • Chicken, Squid or Octopus Lu'au is a traditional Hawaiian dish that is made from one of these proteins and baked with coconut cream and young taro leave tops. Sometimes seaweed is added too. It is an extremely healthy dish!

    Trivia: In ancient Hawai'i turtle meat was used just for the Ali'i (Royalty)

  • Sashimi (Japanese style raw ahi)
  • Japanese sushi and musubi
  • Chicken Long Rice (who knows were this stewed chicken, tomato, garlic and long rice (cellophane noodles) dish came from, but we all love it and we all have our individual styles of making it.)
  • Bar-B-Q meat sticks (usually Japanese or Korean style teriyaki beef or chicken on a skewer)
  • Chinese ginger chicken (boiled whole chicken served chilled with grated ginger, garlic and green onion sauce)
  • Opulehu' or Kalbi short ribs (Hawaiian style or Korean style barbecue short ribs) Some times you have both!
  • Always plenty of poi, white rice and Portuguese Sweetbread.
  • Filipino Pork or Chicken Adobo
  • Boiled or kalua sweet potato, yam and taro
  • Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, Fruit Salad, Seafood Salad, Green Lettuce Salad and Veggie Salads.
  • Asian noodle salad (boiled noodles with sesame, soy and shredded vegetables chilled and garnished) Dependant on who is making it, it could be Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, or Vietnamese style.
  • Any assortment of seafood including fish, crab, and crustaceans fixed in a wide variety of ways.
  • Lots of fresh fruit, bowls of won ton chips, taro chips and western chips, kimchee (Korean pickled cabbage and chili peppers), and what eva any body like brings 'cause dey like eating it.
  • Desserts can be anything, but usually include, haupia coconut cake, haupia pudding, kalolo (Hawai'ian dessert made from taro), a sheet cake or two, cookies. I have often made an haupia cheesecake, a pumpkin cheesecake, or a cranberry cheesecake to bring along. .

How to Kalua the Pig in the Luau Pit

Eh! For All You Guys Who Like Try Kalua Pig at Home - Only Easy Dakine Oven Roasted Kalua Pig Recipe

Photo Taken by Daniel Lane
Photo Taken by Daniel Lane | Source

Easy Dakine Oven Roasted Kalua Pig

Yeah! For Real! No Joke!

Here's how:

Preheat oven to 450 degree F.

What You Need:

  1. You get one 5 to 10 lb. pork butt (depending if feeding only little bit or one crowd)
  2. You get one big roasting pan or pot to hold the pork butt (no need da lid so no worry if no can find)
  3. 1 bottle liquid smoke (no worry bradda & seesta, you not going use da whole ting; unless maybe you make 20 lb. pork butt Ha!Ha!)
  4. Hawaiian Salt ( Das OK. if no mo;can use Kosher salt)
  5. Hawaiian Ti Leaf (If get - check Asian Market)
  6. Banana Leaf (If get - check Asian Market)
  7. Aluminum foil
  8. One rack in da roasting pan (no worry if no rack, no need)

Dis How:

  1. You get da liquid smoke and pour all ova da pork. Rub it in where eva can.
  2. Get da Hawaiian salt (or Kosher) and pour one handful in da hand. Rub da salt all ova da pork butt.
  3. Wrap up good wit da ti leaf (hard to get in mainland, so if no more, no worry) den wid banana leaf
  4. If no ti leaf, or banana leaf das OK. Just put da pork on da rack in da roasting pan wit da fat side up.
  5. Cover da whole ting with double sheet foil. Make sure you seal um tight.
  6. Put in da oven.
  7. Wait 5 minutes.
  8. Turn oven down to 250 degree F. and leave inside for 8 hour.
  9. No peek for at least 6 hour. I know you wanna but don't do it.
  10. Depending how big da pork butt. If 5 lbs. try cook 6 hour din check
  11. If easy to pull of da bone den done.
  12. No peek for at least 6 hour if 5 lb. or more!
  13. When pau (finish) let cool little bit so no burn da fingers, den pull-shred off da bone.

So easy, no?

Auwe!

Note: If you live some place what has banana leaf or ti leave, then try wrap da pork in da leaves before sealing wid da foil. If you no got ~ no worry! Still going be ono-licious!

Hawaiian Sea Salt

This is the kind if Hawaiian salt that I order from Hawaii to make my Kalua Pig here in the mainland.

I use this Hawaiian salt for everything at home. In other words, I have replaced all table salt with this Hawaiian salt. I put in in a salt grinder to use at the table.

My family has been using this brand for over 50 years.


Have You Spent Christmas in Hawaii? - Please Leave a Comment and Let Us Know. Mahalo!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Amazing inofrmation. Great lens. Love the videos. really want to go there!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 4 years ago from New York

      @TransplantedSoul: Few people are aware unless they have been there.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 4 years ago

      I had no idea there was any snow (let alone skiing in Hawaii. Interesting.

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      June Parker 4 years ago from New York

      @stevehaugse: Mahalo for the visit and comment, Steve!

    • stevehaugse profile image

      stevehaugse 4 years ago

      Really enjoyed reading this. Lots of great images and info. I recently updated my lens, vacationing-in-hawaii-a-locals-perspective. It is aimed at trying to give tourists another view of what Hawaii has to offer!

    • stevehaugse profile image

      stevehaugse 4 years ago

      I live in Hawaii year round and love christmas time over here! I usually will fly to one of the outer islands just to switch it up!

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      June Parker 4 years ago from New York

      @favored: Mahalo nui for all the "angel dust" you have sprinkled here!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 4 years ago from New York

      @cmadden: Mahalo and the same to you!!

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      June Parker 4 years ago from New York

      @MBurgess: Mahalo nui loa! So glad you liked it.

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      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      The festivities look like fun.

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      cmadden 4 years ago

      Mele Kalikimaka and a Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! Wonderful lens!

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 4 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Now I know it can snow in Hawaii! Cool lens, thanks for the vacation! SquidAngel Blessed! B : )

    • MBurgess profile image

      Maria Burgess 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I love the gingerbread hale! Very cute! I hope sometime to see the island and enjoy its charm! Thanks for sharing and a belated congrats on the LOTD last year!

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      Beverly Rodriguez 4 years ago from Albany New York

      I would love to get to Hawaii some day!

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      esesvid 4 years ago

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      ohcaroline 5 years ago

      mele kalikimaka to you very early. great lens on island celebrations.

    • ionee251 profile image

      ionee251 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens.

    • williemack58 profile image

      williemack58 5 years ago

      Christmas in Hawaii looks great, I have to make one.

    • Mamaboo LM profile image

      Mamaboo LM 5 years ago

      Nice lens. Thanks for bringing Christmas alive Hawaii style. Be blessed.

    • vkumar05 profile image

      vkumar05 5 years ago

      A very inviting Lens. Must visit Hawaii now. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      It never snows and is always warm and sunny for Christmas around my neck of the woods so getting the same experience but in a tropical paradise like Hawaii seems like a good plan to me.

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      VillaDejaBlue 5 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • profile image

      nsixx99 5 years ago

      Wow snow and snowboarding in Hawaii, I would have never known. What an amazing lens, congratulations on all the awards they are definitely well deserved!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012. Had to come back for this reason. Hugs

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      Congratulations on getting the Christmas LOTD, I really enjoyed this lens, it was soooo well done. Bravo!!!

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      christianzzz 5 years ago

      i hope i can go there :)

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 5 years ago from Burbank, CA

      just got back from our christmas in hawaii!!! We were in Maui at the Wailea Marriot resort. It was so relaxing and fun. We went for a snorkle and saw a whale breach 20 feet in front of our boat! We could hear & feel it sing through the boat. Sooooo cool. Can't wait to go back.

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      lizholy 5 years ago

      Cool, there's snow in Hawaii. Wow. I have not had a warm Christmas since 1993 when I moved to the US. These pictures brought back great memories of Christmas in Africa.

    • JackieSonia profile image

      JackieSonia 5 years ago

      Beautiful and so informative. I would love to spend Christmas in Hawaii. Maybe next year.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I would love to spend Christmas in Hawaii some year, it would be wonderful. ~ Blessed!

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 5 years ago

      Very rich Hawaiian lens, beautifully made. Thanks!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi June well I love this lens, you deserve all of the awards that you get. Every lens of yours that I have looked at, I feel is worthy of an award you can see the amount of effort that has been put in. This story actually makes me feel that I am in Hawaii, you lucky thing, people only dream about a life like this, you actually live it.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      really good lens, had no idea it snows in Hawaii, I can use that as a trivia question for people I know, enjoyed your lens here this morning, thank you!

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      Ohh my goodness this is such a great lens! You covered it all and made me miss Christmas in Hawaii. Beautiful lens. THUMBS UP (#100 too) and ANGEL BLESSED

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @Annamadagan: Well, you little darlin'. Isn't that just the nicest thing you could do?. You are such a love! I am so glad that you loved this lens enough to bless it. I am so glad that you love my home too. I do hope you will be able to visit some day too! I will wager that it is a probability in your future.

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @darciefrench lm: Darcie, my dudette. So glad to see your smilin' face! Thank you so much for the comment and the visit!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @MCB2011: You are quite welcome, my dear. I am so glad you enjoyed your visit and I appreciate so much that you took the time to stop by and stay for a visit.

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @bernie74 lm: You are too sweet Bernie. Thank you for the visit, the very nice comment and the blessing. I am so glad you enjoyed your visit.

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @kimmanleyort: Mahalo nui for the blessing. It is so greatly appreciated!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: Oh Mele Kalikimaka to you too and I hope you had a fabulous Christmas with your friends and family.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @aesta1: My Cambodia friend,! Akun jann! I appreciate so much you coming here to visit and leaving with a blessing.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @KimGiancaterino: Kim, one of my favorite lensmasters, mahalo nui for your support and wonderful comments.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: Thanks guys.

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @Dee Gallemore: nDee, thank you again for your support. I am so glad you enjoyed your visit and a huge Mahalo for your blessing.

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @tvyps: Mahalo nui for the blessing. You have been so generous to me lately and I really do appreciate all of your support!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @jadehorseshoe: Thank you, thank you,

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @HealthfulMD: Kirsti, thank you so much! I get the feeling you had a part in this. If you did, Mahalo nu, it is so appreciated.

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @viscri8: Merry Christmas to you too and mahalo for the blessing . You are so nice to do that for me.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @sociopath-free: It sure seems that way in the Northeast right now, doesn't it?

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @Diana Wenzel: You and me both. This is the time I really want to be back home with my family!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @Joan Haines: I drive my haole husband from New York crazy singing it. LOL.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @curious0927: Then we'll have to swap photos of our Hawaiian style Christmas trees!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @Virginia Allain: You are so sweet. Mahalo nui. It has been nice seeing you around Pinerest too!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @LiteraryMind: Mahalo.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @NidhiRajat: Mahalo a ton! So sweet.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @fugeecat lm: Mahalo. To this day I still have seashell ornaments on my Christmas tree and sometimes trees. LOL.

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @Heather426: Mahalo, Heather

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @ajgodinho: Right that is what I had to do I had to re-size everything to the same size pixels. There are a few that don't look as good now, but at least the jumping has stopped. Thanks Anthony.

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @JennySui: Mahalo!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @pheonix76: Thank you and Merry Christmas to you too!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @grannysage: It is so good to hear from you and thank you for the nice comment!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @jimmyworldstar: Jimmy, let me tell you. The kalua pig is the best. As us locals say, "so ono (delicious) goin' broke da mouth". )Grin)

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: So glad you enjoyed Dave!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @Michey LM: Aloha pumehana and a Mele Kalikimaka & a Hau'oli Makahiki Hou, Michey!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @ajgodinho: Mahalo, Anthony, such a nice comment and Merry Christmas to you too!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @Leimokihana: Oh, I am so glad to meet you!! It is always so good to meet another ex-pat! I'll send an email so we can "talk story". Mahalo nui for stopping by my hou ho' ohoaloha (making new friend)!

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      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      Awesome lens. :) I love Hawaii and would LOVE to visit!

      (Stopping by with a blessing!)

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @lasertek lm: Hadn't seen you in a while. A very merry Christmas to you too!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @SquidooMBA: Mahalo!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @LynetteBell: mahalo for the visit and the comment! I have a new friend to visit. Whoohoo!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @LikinTrikin LM: You guys are the best! Mahalo nui for the blessing and I am so glad to see you after your road trip. I'll be in Arizona next month. Hope to see you!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @Charlino99: You are so sweet. Mahalo.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: Thank you again for visiting another lens and your nice comment!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: Thank you so much and yes the LOTD just made my day for Christmas!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @DebMartin: Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.

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      DebMartin 5 years ago

      I think I could enjoy Christmas in Hawaii! I love the sea shell tree decorations and ornaments and the food looks scrumptious!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Loved your lens on Christmas in Hawaii. Another great lens from KonaGirl. I keep thinking about my trip to Oahu last October and reading your lens made me want to hop on a plane and go again right now!!! Hope you had a blessed Christmas!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Congratulations on your Christmas LOTD. This really is a superb lens. All kinds of great information, videos and pix.

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @bikerministry: Thank you so very much!

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      Tonie Cook 5 years ago from USA

      Congrats on your well deserved LOTD. Love Hawaii, and this information about Christmas In Hawaii. Thank you for sharing.

    • LikinTrikin LM profile image

      LikinTrikin LM 5 years ago

      Congratulations to you June on an outstanding lens. It's the perfect day for this to be chosen for the LOTD award. Merry Christmas to you and we've also sent you an angel blessing :)

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      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Congratulations! It's always lovely learning about new places...and what better time than Christmas.

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      SquidooMBA 5 years ago

      This is a great lens. Thanks for sharing with us. Congrats on being lens of the day!

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      lasertek lm 5 years ago

      Great lens! Merry Christmas!

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      Leimokihana 5 years ago

      Mele Kalikimaka e Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! Mahalo nui for your post. Although I'm not from Kona (from Waianae, Oahu) your post brought many fond memories of Christmases back home. I haven't been home for the holidays in many years. However, today we celebrated as we do every year with a mini luau feast (oven kalua pig, bbq chicken, lumpia, poi, and much more. We even sang the local kine 12 Days of Christmas :) Thank you for sharing the treasures that Hawaii Nei has to offer during this time of the year.

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      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Merry Christmas to you and thanks for sharing Christmas in Hawaii with us. All the best for the New Year..blessings! :)

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      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Kailua-KonaGirl: You should be able to fix it by maintaining the same orientation and size of the pictures.

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      Michey LM 5 years ago

      Aloha! the warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Great New Year.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Mele Kalikimaka, June! I felt like I just spent a few minutes of my Christmas day in Hawaii!

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      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      I didn't know it actually got cold in Hawaii! Since it doesn't snow all over the entire place snowboarding sounds like a good substitute. That pig roast looks delicious too, better than any Christmas turkey or ham I ever had.

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @ZenandChic: Oh, Pat, my friend, thank you so much for stopping by and mahalo for the lovely comment.

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @agoofyidea: Same to you and thank you so much for the visit and well wishes. Mele Kalikimaka!

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      grannysage 5 years ago

      Another wonderful lens on Hawaii. I love Santa in rubber slippers and the original and unique ways to decorate. Once again you have transported me to a different world. Well deserved LOTD.

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      pheonix76 5 years ago from WNY

      Such a beautiful and interesting lens! Thanks for sharing all of this with us, and congrats on your LotD!!! It is well-deserved. I would love to spend a Christmas in Hawaii! Merry Christmas! :))

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      JennySui 5 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD!

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @Stephen Lewis: I am so sorry. I hate McDonald's disgusting food. I feel for you! As for the cars they have rental places on Maui called "Rent a Wreck". LOL. Glad you had a good time even though you weren't there very long.

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      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      @Northwestphotos: I am sorry, but you are wrong because Mauna Kea is actually over 30, 000 feet (about 33,000 feet). The rest of it is below sea level. Only 19,796 feet is above sea level. Mauna Loa is 13,796 feet above sea level. Thanks so much for comment though!