Celebrating Christmas in Hawaii is similar to celebrating Christmas anywhere in the world with the exception of various traditional and cultural morays. The Hawaiian Christmas tree for example is not the traditional northern Fir or Evergreen but usually a Norfolk Pine or potted Palm tree. Instead of having to cut a Christmas tree down each year many Hawaiians and Hawaiians at heart keep their trees potted in their gardens and simply bring them in each year for the Christmas holiday season. Often times the Hawaiian Christmas tree decorations and ornaments consist of items found in the natural world such as seashells, nuts and of course Hawaiian flower leis. The baby Jesus in a Hawaiian Nativity scene may well be resting in a coconut half shell surrounded by coconut trees and brightly colored tropical flowers.
A Hawaiian Christmas meal may often be centered around the famous Hawaiian Luau featuring roast pig cooked in an underground rock pit, lau lau (Hawaiian tamales), a variety of seafood topped off with coconut pudding and Macadamia nut candies and cookies.
Outdoor decorations in Hawaii most certainly include Menehune (Hawaiian elves) dressed in Hawaiian Aloha shirts and headgear. A Hawaiian Santa Claus can usually be spotted throughout the islands wearing bright red shorts, a Hawaiian tropical shirt while riding his sleigh pulled by a happy collection of dolphins. Christmas in Hawaii is a multicultural celebration with a wide variety of ethnic flavors which include the Fillipino, Japanese and Chinese traditions.
Hawaiian Christmas Music and songs are and have always been an essential part of the Hawaiian Christmas celebration and is expressed and shared in the many Hawaiian Christmas parades, festivities, concerts, church choirs all the way around to the family with an acoustic guitar or solo ukulele singing their own favorite Hawaiian Christmas carols.
The most popular of Hawaiian Christmas songs is "Mele Kalikimaka", which reflects the enduring spirit of Christmas in the Hawaiian islands. Although Bing Crosby recorded the song in the 1950's, it was originaly written in the 1940's by a native Hawaiian. Here are the lyrics of the Hawaiian Christmas song "Mele Kalikimaka" :
Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day
That's the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway
Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way
To say "Merry Christmas to you..."
listen to "Mele Kalikimaka" Hawaiian Christmas Song