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Arts and Culture

A Very Maui Christmas

Gingerbread house fundraiser I did for charity.

Many people have images of snow, sleighs, reindeer, and jolly old men with white beards and a fuzzy red suit when they are thinking about Christmas. My husband grew up in Maine and talks of how magical it was as a child waking up to a snowy Christmas morning and opening his presents while drinking hot cocoa. You would spend the day inside playing with your new toys and games and you were totally fine with that because it was often so cold outside. A Maui Christmas is whole new experience.

Tree lighting at Grand Wailea each year.

Being on Maui during the holidays is slightly different but a lot of the same. It can be every bit as magical if you want it to be. There are Christmas tree lighting in the small towns and at all the major resorts. Santa Claus is at the mall and making appearances all over the island. Friends, families, and co-workers are getting together for annual holiday and end of the year parties. There is a man who has built a “Santa” sleigh on top of a trailer. He drives around at night with his “sleigh” decorated in Christmas lights and loud Christmas music playing from his pickup truck to give holiday rides to families all over the island.

Matt, Sunny, and myself at the Grand Wailea Tree lighting ceremony.

However, there is nothing like getting up Christmas morning and bringing your new toys down to the beach to play in the surf and sand under a warm sun and beautiful blue skies. Normal holiday attire is replaced with an Aloha shirt and board shorts for the men, and a sarong covering their bathing suits for the women. Local families have large gatherings at the beaches and parks. Visitors take to the beaches close to them and the island, typically at peak capacity, slows down for a day. December is also the beginning of whale season and it’s common to see whales jumping and playing in the Maui channel and off the north shores.

Cutting down invasive Charlie Brown trees at Haleakala to take home!

So whether you’re a resident or a visitor you can have your Merry Christmas, but with a little Aloha added.

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