The Escape Plan – December 2011

2011 Precoa Incentive Travel Newsletter

“Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day.”

-Bing Crosby

On behalf of everyone in the Precoa home office, The Escape To Paradise team would like to wish all of our hard-working agents all the best during the holidays! Here’s to great times filled with friends, family, and merriment.

The people of Hawaii have proven that you don’t need a cold, snowy climate to embrace the spirit of the season. As you’ll read in this month’s Escape Plan, Christmas is indeed alive and well on the tropical islands of the Aloha State!

Meanwhile, the Escape To Paradise - Maui trip will be here before we know it with official qualifiers to be announced on Feb. 3 and registration beginning shortly after. During this final month of the qualifying period, want to encourage everyone to keep going strong as you work to provide the gift of peace of mind to families in your communities.

Whether you’re closing in on incentive travel trip qualification, a personal sales record, or looking to finish the year on an upswing, now is the time to start your surge to the finish line!

Christmas In Hawaii

Royal Playground Lahaina

When traditional Christmas settings are mentioned, Hawaii might be the last place to come to mind. You won’t find thick blankets of snow in the Aloha State (unless you head to lofty summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island) and if you’re looking for chestnuts roasting on an open fire, you won’t find it here. In Hawaii, there aren’t many homes with fireplaces.

So how does Hawaii celebrate Christmas? Well, just like most of us on the mainland, Hawaii residents begin putting up their holiday lights and Christmas trees as soon as the last piece of Thanksgiving turkey is gobbled. There are joyous Christmas concerts, community parades, and dazzling displays throughout the state. Traditional evergreen Christmas trees are shipped over from the mainland, but some creative Hawaiians will decorate palm trees for outdoor displays and substitute Santa Claus’s sleigh and reindeers with an outrigger canoe and dolphins.

It took awhile though for Hawaiians to fully embrace the holiday.

Christmas wasn’t formally introduced to islands until after 1820 – the year Protestant missionaries came to Hawaii from New England. In ancient times, however, the holiday coincided with a traditional Hawaiian festival called Makahiki. This celebration lasted for four months and included great feasts and games. During this time, wars and conflicts were strictly forbidden. As far as the early Hawaiians were concerned, the Makahiki was their time for “peace on earth and goodwill toward men.”

The first Christmas celebration in Hawaii is believed to have occurred in 1786, when Captain George Dixon, docked aboard the Queen Charlotte in Waimea Bay on Kauai, commanded his crew to prepare a Christmas dinner that included roasted pig, pie, and grog mixed with coconut milk. The English navigator then led his men in toasts to their families and friends back home.

In 1856, Alexander Liholiho (King Kamehameha IV) declared December 25 to be his kingdom’s national day of Thanksgiving. Two years later, Santa Claus made his first appearance in Hawaii, arriving at Washington Place (now the governor’s residence) to deliver gifts for the children.

Today, there’s no bigger Christmas celebration than “Honolulu City Lights,” a favorite holiday spectacle put on by the City & County of Honolulu. Held at Honolulu Hale (City Hall), this festival features a 50-foot Norfolk pine Christmas tree, elaborate Christmas tree and wreath exhibits, giant Yuletide displays, and live entertainment. Whether you’re young or young at heart, there’s no better place to catch the Christmas spirit in the islands.

MELE KALIKIMAKA ME KA HAU'OLI MAKAHIKI HOU!

It’s a bit of a mouthful for the non-native speaker, but when in Hawaii, there’s no better way to wish somebody “happy holidays” than by saying Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The words "Mele Kalikimaka" are a phonetic translation. When the missionaries first brought the custom of Christmas to the islands, the Hawaiians had difficulty pronouncing Merry Christmas and turned it into words that rolled more easily off their tongues.

The western Christmas and New Year fell during this same time of the year that the Hawaiians traditionally honored the earth for giving them plenty to eat. This period of resting and feasting was called Makahiki (mah-kah-HEE- kee). It lasted for four months, and no wars or conflicts were allowed during this time. Because makahiki also means "year", the Hawaiian phrase for "Happy New Year" became "Hau'oli (happy) Makahiki (year) Hou (new)"(how-OH-lee mah-kah-hee-kee ho).

Many of us might recognize the phrase Mele Kalikimaka best from Bing Crosby’s 1950 song of the same name. The song was featured on the 1955 release of his iconic “Merry Christmas” album and also appeared in the holiday comedy movie classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

who’s qualified for escape to paradise - MAUI?

We’re coming down the stretch of the 2011 incentive qualifying period and the list of qualifiers for Escape To Paradise - Maui is approaching 70 all-star agents. Our qualifying group continues to grow each month as 15 more agents punched their vacation ticket last month.

We’d like to extend a BIG congratulations – or Ho'omaika'i 'ana as they say in Hawaii – to everyone who has qualified so far. Keep up the good work in these remaining weeks and don’t forget that we’ll be announcing the next trip location this spring.

If you missed out this past year, the new qualification period is right around the corner. Once you experience an incentive vacation, you’ll never want to miss another!