Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Baywatch Version of Christmas Day

A blonde girl gyrating to a drum circle. Three sets of slack lines, the younger cousin to tight ropes, but wider and looser, raised a couple of feet off the ground. People wearing Santa Claus hats and swigging beer. Oh yes, and smoking, not just e-cigarettes but old-fashioned paper joints. Some people were doing cartwheels and hand stands. Others took turns jumping onto a large body ball and twisting in the air. In broad daylight too.

Slack rope walking.
It was just such a party scene. Those song lyrics, “It’s all happenin’ at the zoo” came to mind. What a perfect place for singles to meet.  Anyone can go. It's free. All you have to do is show up. 

I had no idea.

This must be where the young and hip who live on Maui go to spend Christmas Day. Other people spend Christmas Day with families or close friends, or even windsurfing. We drove through Paia, which was shut down. Every single store and restaurant was closed, except for the uber-posh Mama's Fish House Restaurant outside town.

Windsurfers on the North Shore.

But this end of this beach was not full of BBQ grills and small children. I’ve never seen it so crowded. DH and I walked slowly through the north cove of Baldwin Beach because it was such a spectacle.

It was like, well, it was like Little Beach on a Sunday. Ahem. Which is a very unique Maui experience, like going back to the 60s. The only difference was, everyone at Baldwin Beach was dressed.

Christmas Day Drum circle
Maybe I should have guessed. There were cars lined up to the highway, spilling out from the parking lot along both sides of the long driveway. I’ve never seen it that packed. Until we got closer, we even thought the beach was closed and people had been forced to park outside the gate.

There’s something called the Coconut Wireless which has existed long before the internet. It’s how information spreads across the island, whether it’s real or just gossip. If the internet falls apart, the Coconut Wireless will still be around. I’m not always tuned into it, but I’m betting this Christmas Day beach party happens on this section of Baldwin Beach every year.

Is Christmas like that on other beaches on Maui? I really don’t know, or I can’t remember. Families who celebrate Christmas at the beach often have a big pavilion and coolers and BBQs and tables. There are family style beaches up and down South Maui, and lots of tourists sunning up and down the West Side. Maybe on Black Rock, there’s a Baywatch style Christmas party scene too. But I’d be surprised if people smoke pot so openly over there, since it’s right next to a big resort.

We ended up walking to the far side of the beach, away from the party. I found some tiny beach shells and talked with a young couple who were also fleeing the party.  

Santa Claus hats galore. 

When we came back, the party was still going strong. I can imagine that they lasted well into the night, with open fires on the beach. Totally illegal of course, but so is pot smoking and drinking alcohol on the beach. And going over the speed limit. All things that could be enforced, but rarely are. And probably not on Christmas Day.  


  1. too funny. it sounds like an interesting way to spend Christmas Day! I guess when you live in Hawaii, every day is a beach day! My kind of place, although my husband wouldn't like it!! haha

  2. Yes, every day is a beach day, except when there's a storm! Best wishes for the New Year.


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