It’s early November, which means by now you’ve figured out that you should have hung up your sleigh bells, like, yesterday.
The funny thing about living in a place like Hawaii is that they try really, really hard to make it seem like Christmastime in the islands is just like Christmastime anywhere else in America. It’s always struck me as kind of hilarious – generally speaking, the holiday season is full of awesome things like presents, cookies, fun decorations, gingerbread spiced lattes, and so on. It’s also full of not-always-so-fun things like snow, subzero temperatures, iced windshields. The holidays are the peak tourist time in Hawaii for a reason: people come here to escape the extreme cold!
I took this picture last year in the courtyard of the Ala Moana shopping center. Forgive the blurriness, but hopefully you can make out the Rockefeller-sized Christmas tree surrounded by white foamy flurries that are supposed to be “snow.” This brings up so many questions, like “are people here so desperate for snow that they’re putting Palmolive in their dishwashers and blowing the resulting white bubbly mess around?” and “is this supposed to make me think of winter, because it’s 80 degrees out,” and “where did that tree even come from, anyway?!” Bonus: I’m pretty sure I took this picture a couple days before Halloween. Hawaii wants everyone to know that no matter what the copycats tell you, they did fake winter first!
What I don’t understand is why. If they’re catering to out-of-towners they’re missing the mark. People don’t come to Hawaii expecting Christmas lights on evergreens; you can get that anywhere. What they want is lights on palm trees, Santa Claus in board shorts and flippy-floppies, and snowmen made out of sand, on the beach, drinking a mai tai. If the tourists wanted a traditional freezing-ass-cold Christmas, they would have gone to Wisconsin or someplace.
But whatever. I guess it’s true what they say, people always want what they don’t have, the grass is always greener, etc. And truthfully I admit to being a little sad about missing out on a Hawaiian Christmas this year, writing this from Virginia where it was a balmy 45 degrees when I woke up this morning. But the sun’s out, so that counts for something, right?