Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas in Hawaii

Today one of my friends in Chicago posted a picture of the highway covered in snow and claimed "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas."  From what I heard it was beginning to look like Christmas in October on the East Coast.

Hawaii gets a lot of scoffing because we don't have "seasons."  This is untrue.  We have lots of season.  We have the hot season, the mango season, the whale season, the rainy season, kiawe season, hurricane season...we have tons of seasons.

Back when I lived on Maui winter came with snow too.  At the top of the mountain.  The very top of Haleakala.  It is always cold up there (no really, bring a coat!), but during winter it will get snowy and icy.  I lived on Maui back when keeping people alive was not a priority so they let us Mauians drive up there when it snowed.  That would be a ton of people who have never seen ice in anything but a drink driving up a steep, should-be-one-lane, switch back road that ends in an abrupt drop some 10,000 feet long.  I would make some snowballs and we'd take them back down to Kahului and watch them melt.

Oahu doesn't have natural snow like Maui does.  Instead Pearl Highlands Center trucked in an advertised 40 tons of snow and dumped it in the parking lot in front of the movie theater.  I wasn't sure what 40 tons of snow looked like, but I thought it would make more than two little piles.  We tried to play in it, but it was mostly just a slippery mound of ice and Emily was totally freaked out by the kids running to the top then sliding down just as quickly.  She patted a snowball for awhile and then we left.  That was Emily's first taste of snow.  She wore shorts, a t-shirt, and her sandals.

Other holiday highlights in Hawaii include the arrival of Santa Claus - by canoe at the Outrigger Waikiki.  Here Santa often wears an aloha shirt and board shorts.  And slippahs.  I actually think this is a cop out and I prefer the Santa's who tough out the heat and wear the full coat.  Last year Pearlridge Santa wore the fuzzy pants but opted for shirt sleeves and suspenders.  And no hat.  Lame.

In Hawaii not all of us decorate palm trees.  Some of us do.  Some opt for the tropical Cook Pine.  I got a Noble Fir.  On Maui there is a tree farm in Kula where you need to wear a sweater and can pick out your own tree.  On Oahu we got ours at Don Quixote.  I wonder if the Don Quixote's in Japan also sell trees?

My biggest problem with Christmas in Hawaii is finding pajamas for Emily.  If they are in her size they are not very cute and/or they are covered in branded characters.  I have no problem with Emily liking characters and will indulge her when she decides what she loves, but I don't want to force it till she does.    Also, if I do find pajamas that are cute and fit her they are incredibly too warm for Ewa Beach.  No footies, no long sleeves, no fleece - please.  A cute set of santa-like swim suits would be just fine.  But no one makes those.

The best part of Christmas this year has been our garden.  D finally found sometime to really put it together and we've been working outside to plant and make things look nice out there.  That's right.  It's mid-December and we've been working in the garden.  In shorts.

Mele Kalikimaka.

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