You Know it’s Christmas in Hawaii When…


You know it’s Christmas in Hawaii when…

You’re Christmas shopping and it’s 88° outside.

Your Christmas tree is decorated with starfish and mermaids.

Your friends and family hope you’ll send Kona coffee and macadamia nuts as Christmas gifts.

So many people want to stay in your guest room, you could sell lottery tickets.

You have to run the AC while cleaning for said guests, or you’ll drip sweat everywhere.

People here get more excited about Bing Crosby’s song “Mele Kalikmaka” than his version of “White Christmas.”

You jump every time the fire crackers go off in your neighborhood, as locals rev up for their New Year’s Eve extravaganzas.

The geckos are nestled, all snug in your bed.

You can’t wait for Santa to arrive… by canoe!

Instead of snow, you get flash floods, and warnings going off on your cell phone (happened all night last night)…

Mele Kalikimaka! (Merry Christmas) and happy holidays to all of our mauidailyescape readers. Thank you so much for being part of our lives.

If you live here, please share the things you would add to this list! Mahalo.

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Hawaiian-Style Christmas


Remember the line in the movie “Moonstruck” where Cher slaps Nicholas Cage’s face and says “Snap out of it!” ? Good. Hold that thought.
We had a Christmas party at our house this past weekend with a group of longtime Maui friends. I cleaned, cooked, baked, wrapped, fluffed and planned party games. Everyone arrived at the appointed time and we sat down to eat. So far, so good.
Then it happened. (A Christmas party by any other name….would not be a Christmas party on Maui…) and someone brought up their rat problem.

These friends have a fairly new commercial-grade 6 burner gas oven, and a rat took up residence in it. She said, “Our whole oven smells like rat piss!” (At this point I reminded myself not to eat any baked goods from their house anytime soon). Then she told us of the cure for the rat piss smell: “Basically, you build a fruit salad, add lots of cinnamon sticks and bake it for a really long time.” At first it didn’t work, so they had to start over. I don’t know why these friends have such bad luck with rats, but their last oven also had a rat in it and they ended up throwing it out. (The oven, not the rat.)
Then the conversation turned to cockroaches, and what latest potions and poisons would work to kill them. Before we knew it we were on to centipedes, and the fact that two people at the party had Bug Man and Terminix, yet still get centipedes in their houses all the time. Donna said, “The bug guy was JUST out and I had a centipede in my hall THIS big this morning!” and she splayed her hand as wide as it would go. “Was it the blue and yellow kind?” Amber asked. Because we all know the many varieties, you see.
Then the conversation really got heavy as we moved onto the coqui frog invasion on Maui. Google “Coqui frogs” if you aren’t familiar with this terrible invader. They have basically taken over the Big Island of Hawaii, and then hide in the plants that get shipped out of there from the nurseries, so they encamp to Maui and other outer islands. My friend can’t sleep at night, as the extremely vocal coquis have invaded the gulch by their house. “And do you know that when we call the county to come out and spray, those frogs are smart enough to shut up?” she said.


Go here for “Coqui frogs up close and loud” at

By now the conversation was just out of control. And I said, “Guys, do you think a Christmas party on the mainland would have any one of these topics?” and they all murmered polite versions of hell no. And I was glad I didn’t have to say, “Snap out of it, it’s supposed to be Christmas.”
But that was our version of a Hawaiian-style Christmas party.

And as we were washing platters and wine glasses and packing up the leftover food later that night, Mike turned me and said, “Now do you see why Hawaiians just have a barbecue and sit around in their garages drinking beer for their holiday parties?”
Good point, Mike. Good point.

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right.

Aloha, Jamaica

Christmas, Hawaiian Style


Christmas in Hawaii usually means a trip to Long’s Drugs for their ubiquitous gorgeous Hawaiian-scene calendars for the New Year. They make good Christmas gifts, as they come with their own envelopes for easy mailing (easy is good!) and those on the mainland, especially those buried in snow up to their patooties all winter, get to dream of hot sand and palm trees as they flip the calendar page each month. (Note: Long’s Drugs changed to CVS drugstores everywhere but in Hawaii. Long’s was an institution here, and the Hawaiians put their foot down. The name did not change.)


Besides the calendars, there are the boxes of macadamia nuts (Long’s and Costco) and the Kona coffee.

Sidenote: a woman sued Safeway in my hometown in California because she believed there was not ENOUGH Kona coffee in her bag of coffee from Safeway. And she won! The coffee WE buy says 10% Kona coffee. (Have I ever thought to question it, let alone sue? Apparently, she had way too much time on her hands.)

So there you have it…the typical box of Hawaiian Christmas goodies.

This holiday season, may you not tape your thumbs to your packages. May you always have enough marshmallows for your hot chocolate. And may you be surrounded by loved ones and good cheer.

A hui hou! If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica