Winter in Hawaii – How to Keep it Festive

We might take it for granted at times, but while elsewhere in the world the temperatures are dropping and the snow is falling, we may only consider a light jacket when stepping outside in the later evening. Living so close to the equator, we might miss out on the changing colors that the fall season brings, and skip cold winter nights snuggled behind a fireplace, but we are blessed to live in a place where temperatures only mildly fluctuate throughout the year.

Mahai'ula Beach

Mahai’ula Beach during the winter months

As summer fades into fall, and fall fades into winter, it’s easy for it to seem like the holidays have just crept up on you. Cooler, crisp evenings tend to keep company with stunning, clear, sunny days and white fluffy clouds. The community buzzes with holiday festivities, and lights wrap around all the palm trees throughout the town. Christmas parades, pictures with Santa, and holiday décor keep the spirit going strong, but don’t worry about the winter coats and boots, you can opt out for flip-flops.

Kona Christmas Parade 2015

Kona Christmas Parade 2015

For surfers and beachgoers alike, this is a wonderful time of year. The waves become larger and smoother, and make for a great ride. At the same time, the cool breezes skim off the water and keep the sunbathers cooler for longer days at the beach. Something about the air seems to be lighter as well. And while the humidity calms down, the spirit of the holidays lift higher.

Mauna Kea from Waimea

Mauna Kea from Waimea in November

And while the holidays pass and turn to the new year, the Hawaiian winter continues. Usually in the early months of January and February, the Big Island’s majestic mountain “Mauna Kea” will become covered in snow. For the local residents, it’s a highlight to our season. We hurry to pack the 4WD trucks with a shovel and all our warmest gear, and hurry to the top of the summit for the freshest of soft snowfall.

Mauna Kea summit covered in snow.

Mauna Kea summit covered in snow in the early new year

At nearly 14 thousand feet from sea level, the air is thin and it’s quite a journey, but always makes for a great adventure. Snowboarders and skiers can get their dose of winter play, but so can anybody that makes the journey up. For most, a bodyboard makes for a great way to glide down a snowy slope. And for those who may have just moved here and are missing such elements of their former wintery home, this comes as quite a treat.

Ultimately, winter will fade back into spring, and spring back into the much warmer days of summer. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in time here in Hawaii, but maybe that’s what we’re all striving for. We are very lucky to live in Hawaii for these reasons. We live in a beautiful, comfortable place and it’s no wonder everybody wants to move here.

Holiday Cheat Sheet

Too busy or cheap to fully invest in the holiday season this year, but still want to partake in the holiday spirit? Try out some of these cheats (Unfortunately, this won’t take care of the holiday gifts you’re expected to buy):

For the coffee lovers: Avoid the expensive allure of your coffee shops for that seasonal treat, and instead stock your shelves with festive creamers or syrups to add to your home brew. If you’re a fan of eggnog, and typically prefer cream and sugar in your coffee, try adding eggnog to substitute both and get your festive energy flowing.

Coffee not your thing? Opt for a spiced tea, or even a peppermint tea. Did you know peppermint improves digestion, reduces pain, eliminates inflammation, relaxes the body and mind, can cure bad breath, and aids in weight loss and boosts the immune system? Great way to follow all the sugary treats this season.

Home décor: Skipping a tree, or opting for a small, maybe false one? Hit your store for some pine-scented shavings to sprinkle over it. Also consider season-scented candles or Glade plug-in air fresheners to place around your home. And if that doesn’t cut it for you, sometimes getting a fresh wreath to place inside your home can bring both the fragrant and visual joy to you.

Out and about: Sometimes we can not make all the holiday parties or partake in all the festivities this holiday season, but making a small effort can go a long way. Skip the ugly Christmas sweater though. If you can, wear some themed earrings, a holiday tie, or a simple Christmas hat to carry the merry spirit all around. And don’t forget about your car! A bow can go a long way in making things merry throughout the town.

Mele Kalikimaka!

No matter what your effort this year, remember that the season is all about togetherness and love. And hopefully you’ll have a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year surrounded by all your loved ones.

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