Hawaii: The Big Island – Christmas Day 2021

Going to Hawaii for Christmas had been on my bucket list for a long time. I’ve had no qualms stating repeatedly that Christmas is not my thing. I’ve never found it magical; it’s been more of a thing-you-have-to-get-through-before-starting-a-new-year obligation. Too much cooking, too much eating, too much spending, too much wrapping, too much socializing, too much of everything that stressed me out and make me tired. I was the only person I knew whose favorite Christmas song was Mele Kalikimaka and not something like White Christmas. After yesterday, I don’t expect that preference will change any time soon.

I started my day by stepping out onto the deck outside our room and just inhaling the sunrise in full and present awareness that the day represented a long-time wish achieved. I knew we had zero plans for the day. Anything we wanted to do would occur within a tenth of a mile from rental house. As a person who is nearly perpetually in motion, the concept of having nowhere to go and nothing to do was freeing.

Sunrise over Hualalai

Luke had offered to make a big American breakfast for everyone, so he and Steve got to work on hashbrowns, eggs, english muffins, and bacon while I sat sipping Kona-grown coffee with oatmilk and honey.

Men in the kitchen

From breakfast at 10 until dinner at 4, nothing of consequence occurred. The day was a free-for-all of hammock time, exploring tide pools, swimming, snorkeling, and sitting in the shade listening to the palm trees sway in the breeze. It was exactly what I had hoped for and imagined. The boys spotted a sea turtle near the house. I swam with some Moorish Idols and Kikakapu Threadfin Butterflyfish. Steve went with my sister-in-law, Linda, to a local fish market to acquire our dinner. The rest of the day was spent searching the sea for whales and splashing in the pool. Joe found a coconut, which he decided to break open and sample because why not?

Creative island activity

Linda had graciously agreed to prepare Christmas dinner for us all. Steve made us our annual holiday cocktail, Brazilian Caipirinhas (vodka, lime juice, and sugar) and then we enjoyed grilled blue marlin with papaya salsa, salad, and white rice, all accompanied by a lovely Hawaiian sunset.

Living our best lives

After dinner, the boys enjoyed the spa and the pool before we eventually got around to unwrapping stocking stuffers and having fruit with yogurt for dessert before calling it a wrap on the most chill Christmas Day ever. It had been perfection. And, sadly, instead of feeling I had achieved my goal and could, therefore, move on, I decided there will have to be more Hawaiian Christmases in my future. I think these photos of the boys best sum up both the peace and joy of our very Mele Kalikimaka.

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