Mele Kalikimaka Is the Thing to Say!
unshine? Trade winds? Trees that are still green? These are not things you’d normally associate with an “all American Christmas,” but they are distinctive of Christmas in this Pacific Island Paradise we call “home.”
Christmas in Hawaii is exactly like any other day out of the year. We had a wonderful photo shoot last week in our legendary island weather (Thanks to Etsuko and Brennan for organizing everything, by the way!) Aside from the slight drop in temperature and moderate increase of rain and winds, “Christmas in Paradise” is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
The day of our photo shoot, however, was not exactly an ideal day for manual labor. Our signature red couch felt like it weighed a ton as we carried it from the office to the great outdoors. We conveniently wore Santa hats that protected our heads from the sun but not the sweat from our faces. Glenn also brought out a ladder that we, apparently, didn’t need. Though some of our labor was in vain, the holiday energy always changes the atmosphere.
Christmas lights start lining the streets, the Menehune (elf-like Hawaiian legends) start popping up all over the place in their Aloha shirts, and, of course, we see Santa and Mrs. Clause hangin’ loose in front of Honolulu Hale with their bare feet and comfy Christmas-wear. It was in this spirit that we decided to add and island touch to our Clarence Lee Design Christmas card. You may be wondering what we were thinking of this year. (Or not) We all actually have Brennan to thank for this, but the purpose of this year’s Christmas card was to “go green!”
The Norfolk Island pine has a long history in Hawai’i. Brought by Captain Cooke from Norfolk Island near Australia, these beautiful trees are not actually pines. Instead of pine needles, they have overlapping scale-like leaves about one half inch long. These trees that stand at 200 feet are used in tropical landscaping and, of course, as Christmas trees. At CLD we believe in the beauty of trees as well as the social, communal, environmental and economic benefits they offer. This is why we’ve decided to share seeds to encourage our clients to plant and add to our island paradise in the spirit of the season.
Like any other human civilization that believes in the Holiday Spirit, we, too, must survive this Island Christmas. If you follow these basic concepts, you will find yourself cruisin’ through the season with less stress and more aloha:
- Take it easy!
Everyone gets into a frenzy during Christmas.There’s shopping, traffic, crowded malls and grumpy sales clerks (or really, really, REALLY nice ones). If there’s one thing that will send of cool vibes it’s you keeping a cool head.
- Bring an umbrella.
The continental U.S. has white snow. Hawai’i has “island snow”…otherwise known as rain. With hurricane season lasting from June to November and winter following immediately after, that island snow just keeps on coming. It’s never a bad thing to be prepared!
- Throw on some island holiday classics.
There’s nothing like music in Hawai’i. We’ve got renditions on everything from “Let It Snow” to “Kani Kani Pele” (“Jingle Bells”) so whether you’re riding in your car or walking down through crowds of consumers, take your pick of Hawaiian Slack Key or some good old Brothers Cazimero and sing your way through Christmas.
- Go to the beach.
Not many people can say they can walk barefoot during winter let alone barefoot in sand. Christmas in Hawai’i is one of a kind. Take a walk and breathe it in.
- Finally – Capture moments.
Whether you have a cheap disposable camera from Walmart or the most expensive Canon you can think of – take more than pictures. It’s the moments that you’ll remember and keep. Those moments will turn into memories that you’ll remember for Christmases to come. And remember…not all moments are when there are eyes on the camera.
So take in the sites! Visit Honolulu Hale and the City Lights. Find the Sand Castles in Pearlridge. Even be so bold as to sit down at Ala Moana and watch everyone get in a tizzy while you laugh with a friend.
It’s not just Christmas in Hawai’i, but a Mele Kalikimaka…that’s the thing to say.