Opinion: Christmas in Hawaii is Nothing Like the Movies


Kim Baxter

Christmas in Hawaii will never compare to the white Christmas’ I’ve seen in multiple films.

When I think of Christmas, I imagine myself in plaid pajamas sipping hot chocolate and sitting in front of the Christmas tree watching “The Polar Express” while stealing glances outside to watch the snow fall. Every year I do just that, however, there’s one thing always missing: Snow. 

Every Christmas season, I watch dozens of Christmas films. Movies like “Home Alone 2” where snow falls around a giant Christmas tree in the middle of Rockefeller Center or “Rise of the Guardians” where kids are bundled in layers having a snowball fight and sledding is what I adore the most about the snow, especially during the holidays.

I’ve lived in Hawaii all my life and travelled to multiple states but never during the winter time. I’ve never once seen snow, let alone experienced a white Christmas. I feel I’m missing out on the true Christmas experience by living in Hawaii. No matter how much I embrace the Christmas season, it feels off.

I blame Christmas films for my unrealistic expectations of the perfect Christmas. 

In almost every film I’ve watched, there’s always snow, whether a couple is strolling through the park hand-in-hand, a family enjoying an outdoor skating rink, or children making snow angels. It’s activities like that that make Christmas seem more magical than it is. Yet I can put up as many Christmas decorations as I could, and it still doesn’t compare.

While watching Christmas films, I find myself zoning out, envisioning what it would be like to stand in snow and embracing the cold air during the most magical time of year. Then when I come back to reality, I’m disappointed once again.

Hawaii is labeled as paradise due to our beautiful scenery and blazing sun, but by the end of the year our skies are rarely clear with dark gray clouds. Instead of snow, we get rain. 

Here in Hawaii, different seasons are unfamiliar. Unlike other states, we don’t have the expected spring, fall, winter, and summer that the mainland does. We usually have strictly summer, with a few months of rain which is considered our version of winter. As much as I enjoy the sunny skies, I’ve always been drawn to the cold.

This time of year is my favorite. The coldest it usually gets in Hawaii is between low 70s and high 60s, which is considered very cold for me but there’s something about it that brings me more comfort. It’s the sounds of rain falling and the idea of being wrapped in multiple layers of blankets that makes winter in Hawaii feel like a typical winter the mainland experiences. 

Christmas in Hawaii is filled with a bunch of palm trees wrapped in lights and power outages. There hasn’t been a single Christmas season where my house hasn’t lost power due to the heavy rains in Palolo Valley. 

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I won’t experience a white Christmas anytime soon due to the fact that I’m still in school and it’s quite expensive to be traveling far from home during the holidays. However, I can still dream what it’d be like to experience a white Christmas like in the films. In my mind, nothing can be more magical than that.