Holiday in Honolulu is filled with perspective - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Holiday in Honolulu is filled with perspective

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For many people in Honolulu Christmas means seeing the sights, maybe shopping for things Santa didn't bring or helping those less fortunate.

Songs filled the air and food filled appetites at River of Life in Chinatown.  They'll feed about 300 people today and 15,000 in the month.  They also passed out hygiene bags with a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.  It means a lot to folks especially when you talk about how tough times have been.

"It's kind of sad this time of year especially," said Bob Marchant, River of Life Mission Executive Director. "We see more people, more families, and more children. We see an influx from the people who were in Waikiki and moving this direction."

The place is filled with perspective. Eight years ago Hilda Gibon was in prison. Now she's the food service director for River of Life.

"I totally changed from drugs and criminality to not even jaywalking. It's an awesome feeling to do good and to pass by the policeman and say hi and not feel like they're going to come get me," said Hilda Gibon, River of Life Food Service Director.

People laughed and played at Honolulu City Lights.  For the Reyes family Christmas means being together.

"It's a tradition that we go out on Christmas day just to see the sights in whatever city we're at what they have to offer," said Reyes, with his wife and daughter.

 People also spent the holiday spending money.  All 110 shops and restaurants at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki are open.  They're open 365 days a year actually and business was brisk.

"You want to enjoy shopping, dining, hanging at the beach. We're open for the convenience of our visitors but we're also open for our local residents," said Sam Shenkus, Royal Hawaiian Center Marketing Director.

Whether reflecting on the year that's past or reflecting on your selfie, there are plenty of ways to make the holiday memorable.

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