Hawaiian for "Merry Christmas"
©2000 The Gobbler: by Juan Wilson
My wife, Linda, and I have a long term plan to live six months in Chautauqua and six months in Hawaii. We have been living on the island of Maui since August. It will be her first Christmas in the tropics. She celebrates Christmas with lots of decorations and tradition. But this year will certainly have a different flavor. No snow, no ice, no fireplace.
The images of Christmas in Hawaii are odd to someone who grew up in the Northeast with Currier & Ives landscapes and snow on the ground most Christmas mornings. Here, Santa is portrayed on television as wearing a Hawaiian shirt and riding a surfboard. Christmas trees have been shipped here from the Washington and Oregon, but they sit for sale under sunny palm trees.
The surprising thing is the amount of enthusiasm for Christmas here in the tropics. I think it is because the sense of generosity in Christmas season is the closest thing to the Hawaiian spirit of aloha that mainlanders celebrate. Halloween was also enthusiastically embraced. I think it is because of the sense of fun in mischief that Halloween evokes.