So This is Christmas, Waikiki

Big bucks are spent to vacation in Hawaii during Christmas. Since it had been two years since I’ve been to Waikiki for the holiday I decided to call my good friend Yvonne to join me for breakfast at the Outrigger Hotel.

Breakfast somehow seems more special when I am  sitting overlooking the pool and ocean and enjoying conversation with my long time crony. The food always seems to taste better when you are looking at such a beautiful site.

But alas it was not to be. That is, sitting overlooking the ocean. Instead, we had to take what was available, a table across from the preferred seating overlooking other people’s heads who were overlooking the pool and ocean.

It seemed from that point on I slowly turned into the Grinch.


Yvonne was happy to be there and was just fine where we sat. She just ignored me as disappointment and complaints poured out of my mouth. The menu didn’t appeal to me so I ordered a short stack of macadamia nut and banana pancakes. They tasted dry as I tried to look through heads out to the sea. The coffee was bitter as I poured packets of sugar to mask the taste and somehow I only saw the tinsel side of Christmas as I looked around.


There seemed nothing extraordinary to photograph that represented the holidays. This bar next to the table where we ate seemed to sum up the way I felt. It called to me but unfortunately it was closed. Even if it had been open I am sure they could not have made me a drink that would have made me feel better about my surroundings. So we headed down the stairs. I realized that the food had not changed and we had a wonderful waiter but I am a creature of my surroundings and I don’t choose place to eat for the food but for the ambiance.



IMG_0892I believe I took this very same photo two years ago for my Christmas blog back then. The Outrigger had very little to show in the way of Christmas decorations and so we didn’t bother to stay to look around.

Is it me or are the hotels losing the spirit like so many other places. Here it is December 16th and I’ve not heard one person say Merry Christmas. It’s as thought they are like the recorded message you always get when calling a business but paraphrased. “Your money is very important to us please take in our token Christmas decorations while you wait to pay the cashier.”


The Moana Hotel, though their decorations have not changed, still had a beautiful presentation.


The lei in the tree looked Hawaiian and Chrismasy


Here we were at the Princess Kaiulani Hotel. This is a portrait of the young princess who was next in line for the throne. She died very young before taking the throne and even had she lived she would not have been able to reign as Queen Liliuokalani the Queen at the time, had been dethroned by big business men from the United States. Her imprisonment marked the end of the Hawaiian Monarchy. Much to the sadness and outcry of the Hawaiian People.


This carving of a peacock is also a symbol of the Princess. Her home was in Waikiki and it was surrounded by her beloved peacocks. It was said that the peacocks cried through the night as the princess lay on her death bead. But more to reality the reason they may have cried would have been to announce the stream of strangers that were calling throughout the night to pay their last respects to their beloved princess.


My last Christmas visit to the hotel they had this elaborate ginger bread set up  but it was all Hawaiian. This year they gave a nod to all the foreign visitors who patronize the hotel. This is the London Tower Bridge and to the side is the Eye of London or is it the London Eye?


And do I really have to say what this represents other than a lot of cookie dough? The Eiffel Tower.


And this is the rest of the village that looked a little to snowy for me. Yes Christmas can have a lot of snow, but in Hawaii? These are historic sites in Hawaii but it was just cluttered for me to try to single out.


Now we’re  at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. I did not visit it the last time so it was all new to me and yet the tree pretty much looked like all the other hotel trees.


But I did like this carousel display. The wind was blowing and the waterfall splashed down and out. Their was a bit of a chill, not much, but still a chill in the air. The bright display attracted the children but the spray of water became more attention-getting then anything else. I expect coming from all over the world and many from cold countries, the spray felt wonderful under the Hawaiian sun.


So the last Hotel display I took was this one as I really liked the lay that this zebra was wearing. But that was as close to a Hawaiian look as there was going to be for a display in this hotel.


When all was said and done. This was the real Christmas in Hawaii for those who were checking in to the hotel. From breakfast to the last display, I felt, Christmas had left the building and if there had not been these displays in the hotels you would not have known what time of year it was once you stepped out of your room.


From street settings such as this along Kalakaua Avenue ,

IMG_0932to Duke Kahanamoku with fists full of leis welcoming all to his island

IMG_0947And the statue of the young boy surfing alongside a seal


This is the real Christmas in Hawaii


17 comments on “So This is Christmas, Waikiki

  1. Another fabulous post Karen. The text and those beautiful photos truly gives me a feeling of being there (without the balmy breezes, blue skies, etc.) You are very talented at capturing and conveying a sense of a place through your images that keeps me waiting anxiously for the next post. Thank you 🙂


    • You know Rick, I don’t do many post as I see my very low numbers as to my visitors and I feel that my post must be boring. But then the urge hits me to go out and search something down and I am compelled to write. But my post are getting to be few and far between.

      Your comments mean a lot to me as do a few other readers who spur me on. When it comes down to it though I write because I love it and who reads it has to become secondary or I would never post again. Thank you so much for you kind words. And of course, thank you for stopping by.


  2. Janice says:

    Well, I enjoyed your Christmas tour of Waikiki even if you didn’t! It was this time of year that I was there – exactly 20 years ago I was in Waikiki, but I can’t remember which hotel. I remember a giant Christmas ‘tree’ made entirely of potted poinsettias, I think at the airport. Your photos are beautiful, and the gingerbread display, whilst admittedly not Hawaiian in any way, is magnificent. It’s ‘London Eye’, by the way.
    Wishing you a very Happy 2013!


    • Good to see you back Janice and I will look forward to your post. My best friend was with me who also is from England. She has told me it was London Eye but by the time I got home I forgot. Privilege of being old.



  3. Helen Dano says:

    P.S. Karen:

    I participated in this Poetry in the Schools program here and when the teacher of this one class said that maybe I should not read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” as there are Jewish children who would feel left out, I decided to find a parody of that poem to read also AND KANI, KANI PELE! So I got to read a poem I so love in these holiday times, I got the children and their teachers delighted with the funny parody, and I got to sing a song I have not sung in more than 45 years! (This marks my 40th year –sob, sob– away from my beloved Hawaii)
    for your readers and you. Can you all guess what song this is?

    Kani Kani Pele!
    Kani Kani Pele!
    Kani na wa apau!
    Le ole a no ke kau oe
    Ma ke ka a holo hau!

    Happy holidays to you all!


    • Jingle Bells! I wonder what happened to the days when we learned about everyone’s way of celebrating instead of totally doing away with Christmas. Things are getting too upside down. But I bet the kids enjoyed your song. So you did the Hawaiian version of Night before Christmas. I just heard Frank Delima doing that on the radio. He is just to funny. Have you not been back in 40 years? You need to come home. I don’t know how you do it. Thank you for the comments and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. It sure looks like it will be a white one.


  4. Sartenada says:

    Those Christmas theme photos are amazing. My wife sighed when seeing the Eiffel Tower and me too. Great post Karen.


  5. Your real christmas is certainly different from mine, Karen! 😉 Sorry if you had a bad day, but at least you got a lot of story telling for the blog. But how could the hawaiian monarchy be ended by american businessmen?


    • The offspring of Missionaries saw dollar signs in these islands and though having the trust of the monarchs they plotted to take the islands away. Their are Five families that are always sighted as the ones who started the ball rolling. Alexander& Baldwin, Castle & Cooke, Brewer and Davies.
      Then there was Pearl Harbor that was coveted by the U.S as they saw the military potential in it and made many broken promises to get it. These people led to the imprisonment of the queen and the annexation of the islands the lowering of the Hawaiian flag and the raising of the American flag. Much to the devastation of the Hawaiian people who were seeing the destruction of their culture and the loss of their land.

      The United States Supreme Court issued an apology in 1993 but that was just words. You can read about it here.
      Thank you for stopping by and Merry Christmas and here’s to a very happy new year.


  6. ÇAĞATAY says:

    Mrs Karen;

    Merry Christmas …


  7. Mele Kalikimaka, my friend.


  8. Hi Helen. Your so very welcome. Yes as I looked down the beach I thought, why search out something that is so non Hawaiian when I have this wonderful beach, mountains and sunshine. Yes, lucky I live Hawaii. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


  9. I guess My Grunchyness has left its mark on my post too as I swiftly wrote and posted it up. Sorry about all the errors.


  10. Helen Dano says:

    I would take Christmas in Hawai’i any which way I could take it. Thank you for taking me there . . .


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