Hawaiian Holiday

Around the world, the holidays bring thoughts of sugarplum fairies, mistletoe, and reindeer. On the southernmost state of the US, the fundamentals don’t change, we just add to the warmth of tropical breezes, close to 80 degree water temperatures, the gift of incredible ho’oilo (winter) surf on the North Shore and the knowledge that on Christmas Eve, Santa would like malasadas and Kona coffee (In an interview, he said, “I take it black, naturally… only way to taste the flavor!” to which he added, “Ho, HO, Howzit?” Santa’s pidgin is impeccable.) while he’s in Hawaii. Picture it — Santa fueling up with 100 % Kona coffee.  No wonder he covers so much ground… err air!  You can get a taste of the islands by entering our Kona Coffee Sweepstakes, graciously sponsored by Mountain Thunder Coffee.  We will announce the winner on December 28th in our exclusive interview with Kona Coffee artisan, John Langenstein.

I digress; Spending the holidays in America’s Paradise is a way of starting new traditions and building beautiful (and warm) memories with family and friends.  If you are feeling the call of the Islands, there is no better time than the Yuletide.  Here you will find some of the best ways to celebrate a Hawaiian Holiday during the Holidays.  From Wine and Food Travel, Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! (Our Gift Guide is on the Next Page!)

Sugar Plums Surf to O’ahu.

Ballet Hawaii celebrates artistic director Pamela Taylor-Tongg’s 25th Anniversary season with Tchaikovsky’s immortal holiday classic, “The Nutcracker” at Neal S. Blaisdell Center.  Don’t miss one of three performances: Friday, December 17 at 8pm, Saturday, December 18 at 7:30pm and Sunday, December  at 2:00pm of this 2010 tradition.

Congratulations to Janice Ng of Hawaii, grand prize winner of our Ballet Hawaii Nutcracker Celebration Sweepstakes!


Honolulu City Lights at Honolulu Hale lights up its 26th year in Downtown Honolulu. See Shaka Santa and Mrs. Claus next to menehune mischievously delivering presents by train, gigantic toy blocks spelling out “Mele Kalikimaka” and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou” that make you feel like Clara in the Nutcracker when she shrinks to the size of her toys, and put yourself in a Hawaiian Postcard where you can choose to be an outrigger surfer, a teddybear, a mermaid and more; a charming tropical photo for a family Christmas card.

Holiday Boat Parade in Hawaii Kai.

Join people from around the island watch boats bedecked in the glitter of the season parade along the marina’s waterways on December 18, Saturday, 5:30-8 PM, for the annual “Festival of Lights” Hawaii Kai Christmas Boat Parade.

For more information go to http://www.hawaiikaimarina.com.

Evergreen Island. Nothing quite says Christmas like the smell of pine. When walking around O’ahu it’s easy to believe everything is evergreen, and when you take a day trip up to North Shore to see the massive surf you’ll pass pineapples (Try the pineapple soft serve at Dole Plantation Visitors center, open 9:30am-5:30pm.  CLOSED CHRISTMAS DAY.) coffee, and… wait for it, fragrant Norfolk Pine Trees!  Helemano Farms has been growing Christmas Trees in Central Oahu since 2002 (Did you know it takes just one year to grow a Christmas tree?  The friendly growers cut at the trunk and a new tree is grown and ready just in time for the holidays!)  Helemano Farms began as the green retirement project of late agriculture executive Mike O’Brien, whose family runs Helemano Farms in his memory. Stop and smell the Christmas-time at Helemano Farms located in Whitmore Village in Wahiawa at the end of Whitmore Avenue.

Norfolk Pines are $40, Leyland Cypress trees start at $60 and locally made Christmas wreaths (ideal for bringing that holiday smell into your hotel room) start at $25.  The farm is open every day until December 23, 2009.

Next Page

A Hawaiian Gift Guide

Katherine Hsia

Known affectionately as "the wandering concierge," Katherine segued a hospitality career in fabulous New York City into a life pursuing her passions of writing, adventure and travel on the spectacular island of O'ahu. She is a freelance writer for publications such as Honolulu Magazine, Hawai'i Parent, Freesurf, and more, while working on her Hawaiian comic and non-fiction book. She enjoys seeing life for its whimsical beauty, great meals with good friends, her love affair with travel, and being overstimulated by new experiences. Want to get in touch with Kat? Add her on facebook or send her a message on her website, http://www.katherinehsia.com, where she's been known to get her blog on.

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