Hawai‘i has the most unique Christmas, celebrated in nature’s tropical setting by a multicultural population of people whose various traditions come together in harmony.

Families decorate their homes with competing light shows. Tree ornaments and decorations are handmade and designed to reflect island culture with iconic images such as surfboards, palm trees, and hula dancers using tradition material such as lauhala, kapa, flowers, and plants. A bounty of food is shared featuring not just traditional Hawaiian lu‘au fare but dishes from a variety of cultures. And families spend time together outside, at the beach, in the water, playing or competing in sports tournaments such as triathlons and marathons.

The spirit of Christmas in Hawai‘i also includes lökahi—unity and harmony—where communities come together to help those in need.

Here is a portrait of Christmas in Hawai‘i with a brief narrative of its history.