christmas in hawaii, part one...

posted on: 12.05.2012


The thing about winter in Hawaii is... it's pretty much just like fall in Hawaii, which is almost exactly like summer, and... well, you get the point.  So when we do Christmas here, well, it really is a sort of stirring in the heart.  A turning towards things merry and bright, cause, trust those of us who live in Hawaii, right now... TO-day, this vog and humidity has no one rushing to cuddle up next to any sort of heat source, including other heat producing bodies, sorry boys-- sticky icky, yuck, and, also chestnuts... roasting... what ARE chestnuts?

So yeah, we have to work for Christmas here with magical carols going round on playlists and inflatable lawn ornaments popped up beneath palm trees left wondering "what the hey is going on down there".  And lights, lots and lots of lights... and tinsel and family and friends and loved ones who really are the very sweetest of Christmas decorations hung tenderly from the branches of your life that you extend so easily towards them this time of year.  (Even if most of the year a good pruning doesn't seem such a bad idea.)

We work diligently, for that Christmas here in paradise.  And you know, in some ways it's sweeter for the effort.  The snow that we imagine in our minds and never allow to actually melt into dangerously muddy slushiness or turn yellow for reasons that snow might suddenly go yellow, *wink-- well, it's a pretty darn sweet sort of snow.

And, while these boys and I will be getting on a jet plane in search of real snow soon, I'm in need of a good "feel it in my finger tips" sort of frost bitten snowball fight, you know?  I promise-ish to capture-ish as many glimpses of Christmas in Hawaii.  Just for you. 'Cause I'm cute like that, and mostly 'cause I kinda sorta like you.  A lot.  Obsessed.

And, so, I give you Christmas in Downtown Honolulu; Honolulu Theater and bits of Chinatown.

Is it just me or is theater just all kinds of Christmas.  Theater  in sweet little school cafeterias, theater in church halls, theater here, theater there... theater theater everywhere.  

Historic Honolulu theater is the most amazing theater in Hawaii.  Maybe I love it so because it's old, and sometimes I feel old and so, yeah, there's that. 

And I'm sure it's filled with dust bunnies too, from centuries long long ago, you know?  And, if you've seen my home you know I heart dust bunnies.  Really.  Adore.

It's not THAT old but we can pretend, can't we?  In our minds.  Like snow falling and never melting...  

My incredibly handsome and sweet and smart and dashing and... I'm so stinkin' proud of him, cousin performed there over the weekend with his school's incredible performing arts department.  

It was a high school performance and it felt Broadway worthy. Really. Tickets are not sold but given, to family and friends, kind of like in the true spirit of Christmas, so start extending those branches.  Stretch.

I thought about hiding behind the seats, waiting 'til everyone left and then, well... I didn't have any sort of follow through.  'Just sorta made it to "wouldn't it be strange, and creepy but also way cool to be in here at night.  Alone".  Poor Charlie waited while I let that scenario roll round inside my head, and while I took a few photos (read as: scoped out a good hiding place).  It took a while.  He's a good man. 

And then there's Chinatown.  

The few brave and wonderful boutiques that are reclaiming the "don't go there after dark" streets.  Love them.

Kendra Kay Pahukoa this one's for you.

You're so welcome.

And the little downtown restaurants that are so, downtown.  And also, are so the reason I am not swinging from a historic chandelier right now.  Sigh.  Another opportunity lost to hunger pangs.

And the creepiest ride in a parking structure elevator.  Ever.

The closet sized elevator stopped, doors frozen shut, for what seemed an eternity and then started shaking like Jacob Marley's chains.  If we're choosing ghosts of Christmas past to take elevator rides with I so call the jolly, boisterous, haku donning one, thank you kindly.  

But no worries I managed to get myself together long enough to reassure the boys take a picture of Ty's freak out face.  'Welcome Tyty.

This post was terribly long and you made it, phew, to the end and I love ya even more for it.  I'm prostrating myself before you right now.  In my mind.

live sweet, 


A sweet holiday giveaway here.


  1. Loved all the pictures! thanks for sharing!!

  2. Thanks for taking me on such a great tour of Hawaii. Cheers

  3. great pics...but I need snow at Christmas.
    I usually don't get it, but it is possible.

  4. I loved that tour and I love the old theaters ... I think I was born in the wrong decade!

    I'm a Boston girl, so chances are we'll get snow. I'll send you some, love. :)

  5. Hey Nicole!
    Loved the pics of the theater. Unrelated to this post, I am going to link up with your blog on Sunday for one of my hawaii stories. Esther Norine Designs

  6. being from wisconsin - i can't imagine anything other than a snowy, cold xmas!

  7. I'm loving your post. I'm living out vacationing in Hawaii. I'm broke this is the only way it's happening anytime soon. Your pics of the theater's are awesome. Oh and Chestnuts are a nut that grows on a tree in a prickly pod. I have a story to tell about roasting them.(maybe latter)Mainly ours was gross. I hope you get into some snow. I want some too!

  8. What a beautiful theater! Such a neat place to go!

  9. hee hee- thanks for the spam pic- you know i loves it!

  10. Yeah. We here are dreaming of one Christmas in shorts and shirts, and you are imagining snow.. Greta photos! Especially the one with the Christmas tree and a summer dress next to it. No jacket, gloves, scarves, etc? really? :)))

  11. I miss Hawaii at Christmas. I miss the "Electric Parade," I miss the parade, the Santa and Mrs. Santa in front of Honolulu Hale. I miss the wreath competition, I miss the displays--Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Shinto, no-religion, Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, etc. I miss the palm trees wound with white lights. I miss the flower arrangements in the Moana Hotel. I miss the Kaneohe Christmas parade. I miss the Christmas concert at the Kawaiahao Church, I miss putting big red bows on my palm trees, I miss Charlie and Ty and Sean and you and all else that goes with Christmas in Hawaii---oh the light display in front of the Board of Water Supply, Santa coming in on a canoe at the Hale Koa, and . . . on and on. It's funny, we have the fireplace, the flotilla, the very traditional small town street and a Dickens Christmas weekend with everyone dressed up in period costumes. . . but I'm missing downtown at Christmas. (Hey, that's the restaurant across from Open Space Yoga!) And I do miss Chinatown very much. See you soon.


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