So, I cheated this time, but hey, it is a holiday tomorrow. So excited to see most of my grandchildren and bring a couple home to stay for a bit. I’ll have to keep taking photos to embarrass them with again. haha!
I have been a grandmother now for fifteen years and have twelve grandchildren. I feel very fortunate to be able to get to know my grandchildren and enjoy their unique personalities. When it comes to giving gifts to them, I have found that they usually do not remember from one Christmas to the next what we gave to them, so I have been trying to think of a gift that will last in their memories and be meaningful. It is very tempting to buy them expensive gifts so they think you are the greatest grandma in the world. But, that only spoils them, and then they all expect it – because the word gets out really quick to brothers, sisters and even cousins. So what are we grandparents to do?
Here in Hawaii, the holidays mean great food. Yes, we usually have the traditional American food, and, because there are so many different cultures living here, we also have a potpourri of other delectable food items to please all the guests and neighbors. So besides the turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, you may find on the table some Hawaiian Pork Chops, Hawaiian sweet bread, and one of my favorites, mochi. Here are a few recipes you might like to try.
I grew up in Utah where we have four definite seasons. We lived down the canyon from the ski resorts, and even made igloos in the back yard during the winter.
When I first moved to Hawaii, my Christmas question was: “How does Santa get into the houses to deliver all the presents?”, since most houses here in Hawaii do not have chimneys. The answer was quite simple. He enters through the door.
Of course, Santa comes on a surf board to Hawaii rather than on a sleigh with reindeer.
We also have a diffferent way to say Merry Christmas. It is Mele Kalikimaka. You may have heard our Christmas song.
Mele Kalikimaka (Song Lyrics)
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
Mele Kalikimaka or Mele Kaliki Maka is a Christmas song sung as a warm greeting from Hawaii. It came from the Hawaiian pronunciation of “Merry Christmas”.
Since Hawaiian does not have all English phonemes, in particular the “R” and “S”, “Merry Christmas” becomes “Mele Kalikimaka”. It is a transliteration of “Merry Christmas” and not really a translation of it.
The song was written in 1949 by Robert Alex Anderson who is better known to fans of Hawaiian and hapa haole music as R. Alex Anderson. One of the earliest recordings of this song was by Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters in 1950.
No worries celebrating Christmas in Hawaii. Our favorite thing to do on Christmas is take a picnic lunch and head for the beach. Try that in Utah!
Usually the first week of December is when the big town turns on the Honolulu Christmas lights. It is a very festive and exciting time for everyone.
There are rides for the children and plenty of food booths. And they always have excellent Christmas music by choirs, quartets and other groups.
There is an Electric Light Parade which goes down King Street and ends up at the Honolulu Hale. They also have plenty of Christmas decorations and displays. The celebration continues with a concert featuring local bands.
Since winter in Hawaii is usually when we have the largest waves, there are many surf competitions.
Although we celebrate a little differently than in the mainland, Christmas gifts are shared with friends, neighbors and family. It is a time to also share delicious Hawaiian delicacies, hang out and sing favorite songs. Often a family will have a luau with poi, kalua pig, laulau, lomi lomi salmon, and haupia or mochi for dessert (they are ono – yummy!)
To be lawfully wedded in Hawaii you must get a marriage license from the authorized agent.
The legal age for getting married is 18 years for both female and male. If you are younger than that, you will need consent from your parents.
No U.S. citizenship or Hawaii State residency are required. No proxy is allowed – both the husband and wife must physically appear in front of a marriage license agent in order to apply.
Photo Identifications are required. The fee for obtaining a license is $60 in cash. The license is good throughout the state of Hawaii. Licenses are only valid for thirty days.
You can apply for and obtain your marriage license at:
Department of Health
1250 Punchbowl Street
It may take two to three weeks for all the paperwork to be finished so keep that in mind.
The most popular wedding venue on Oahu is the Waialae Beach Park. Only a ten-minute drive from Waikiki, it is very secluded and private.
Other venues that are popular include The Turtle Bay Resort and Waimea Bay, both on the North Shore. The Paradise Cove is a private location for more than twenty guests.
Chapels can be scheduled at Central Union, First Christian, Princess Lagoon Chapel and Primarrie Church.
There are also several other locations that are perfect for you wedding on the others islands, including Kauai, Maui and the Big Island.
Most of the time, the weather is great in Hawaii, but there actually seasons – the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season is usually from April to October and the rainy season is usually from November to March. The best months for weather are generally in April, May September and October.
If you have a wedding during the holiday months (middle of December to Middle of April), you may find that the expenses for the wedding will be more expensive.
Summer is often very hot and humid and most people on the island head to the beaches to cool off. The temperature varies only about 15 degrees and usually stays within the 70 and 80 range.
Before heading off for Hawaii, you should decide how much money you need to budget for your wedding. Do you want just a wedding ceremony or do you want to treat guests to formal dining or a luau.
It is usually less expensive to have your wedding on Oahu since there is more competition. You could get hitched on Oahu and then escape to another island for your honeymoon.
Think of all the expenses that come with wedding, including the minister, photographer, limousine services, flowers, catering, wedding singer, tuxedos, etc. Many places offer wedding packages which can be quite a deal.
If budget is not a problem, you may want to avoid all the stress and hire a wedding planner in Hawaii. Many hotels offer this service to make your day extra special. Write down all the particulars you prefer before calling a wedding planner.
There are a few day cruises you can take when you are on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Perhaps you live on the island and just want a short getaway from the hectic pace of work and traffic. Or you may be visiting from another island or the US mainland. Visitors from all over the world come to Hawaii and take a day cruise on Oahu.
My husband and I went on the Navatek Dinner Cruise for our 35th anniversary. The Navatek is a state-of-the-art vessel that has received awards for ship design. It has been hailed as being the most comfortable and most stable ride in all of Hawaii according to Forbes Magazine.
We boarded the ship early evening and had a buffet of delicious tropical foods they call the surf ‘n turf in the Blue Hawaii Room.
Afterward you could either enjoy the live entertainment, walk up on the deck and enjoy the sunset, or just watch the Honolulu lights on the shore.
If you are fortunate, you may be able to spot a whale or some dolphins. The cruise is very affordable, takes about two hours and travels down past Diamond Head to see where some of the rich and famous of Hawaii live around the Kahala coastline.
For a more cozy and personal experience, you can take a morning or afternoon cruise on a catamaran. You will be able to see any sealife right up close including dolphins and sea turtles. The cruise lasts about two hours long and snacks are available as well as a full-service bar. The cruise starts near Waikiki Beach at the Kewalo Basin. There is room for about thirty people.
There are other day cruises available, but by far the most exciting during whale season in Hawaii is the Star of Honolulu Whale Watch Cruise.
Whales like to come to Hawaii during the months of December through May. The cruise offers naturalist experts who share their knowledge about the beautiful mammals. You can also hear the underwater whale songs on a hydrophone.
During the off season when the whales are traveling elsewhere, the cruise offers other activities like ukulele playing, hula dancing, and lei making. The cruise takes between two hours and two and a half hours.
For more information about the day cruises from Oahu, see hawaiidiscount.com or allhawaiitours.com