Have Christmas in the Tropics Without Leaving Home

If you have yet to start decorating your home for Christmas; join the club. Whether your reasoning for getting a late start on the holidays this year stems from a complete lack of time or you have just been avoiding exerting the effort or dreading the inevitable start to January and the daunting task of UN-decorating, there are only a couple of weeks until the holiday and if you are going to decorate, it is now or never. However, if you have been avoiding holiday decorating because you can’t stand another year of nutcracker figurines and gingerbread houses, try something new in 2010. Here are some tips for creating a tropical-themed Christmas right in your own home.

The Tree: If you can’t get around the idea of a traditional pine tree in your home, jazz it up this year with a beach theme. Substitute your red and green lights for more yellows, oranges and blues. Then decorate with a tropical vacation in mind; cocktail umbrellas, seashells, plastic sea life, sea glass, paper pineapples and even mini bottles of rum make great ornaments. Use brightly colored ribbon or string to tie individual pieces on to the tree or create long loops using many pieces. Top off the tree with a dried starfish instead of a traditional star or angel.

Décor: Remember that when decorating for an island-style holiday that everything can be substituted. Santa needs a Hawaiian shirt and swim trunks and to be pulled in a canoe by dolphins rather than in a sleigh by reindeer. Wreathes are made of palm fronds instead of pine or fir branches. If you are really committed, you can substitute a palm tree for a pine tree and roast a pig instead of cooking a turkey.

Traditions: The Hawaiian culture values family and generosity so make sure to include everyone in your celebrations and gift-giving. Have your own luau and do the hula in your Santa hat and bikini with Hawaiian Christmas carols and guitars playing in the background.  A Hawaiian Christmas is never complete without leis for your family and friends and the singing of “Mele Kalikimaka” and “Silent Night.”

Remember, there is no such thing as a bad celebration, so as long as you surround yourself with good food, great company and festive décor, you won’t be able to keep yourself from catching some holiday cheer.

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