Weather outside ain’t frightful, holidays are so delightful …

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Weather outside ain’t frightful, holidays are so delightful …

by: Takahiro Takiguchi | .
Stripes Guam | .
published: December 19, 2014

Guam may not conjure up images of a typical winter holiday setting during this time of year, but Christmas spirit and traditions thrive on this tropical paradise.

Since illuminations began lighting up the Agana Heights on Dec. 2, a series of exciting annual holiday events - ranging from the Holiday Lights and Snow Show in a shopping mall to a New Year’s Eve fireworks display - have or will bring holiday cheer.

“The holiday season here is very different,” said Sayumi Ishioka, who’s lived on Guam for 14 years and is part of the management at Micronesia Mall. “There are a lot of outdoor parties going on throughout the season.  Santa Claus forgoes his usual fuzzy ensemble for shorts and a T-shirt, and children spend Christmas on a white beach instead of a snow field.”

Like in the mainland of the States, the holiday season on Guam is a time for shopping.

“It is the busiest time for us,” Ishioka said. “So many visitors and residents came over to the mall to shop for gifts and souvenirs. I feel the holiday season on Guam is for shopping and outdoor parties.”

To tap into that holiday shopping spirit, this year’s holiday illuminations are slated to be on display at historical Government House in Agana Heights through Jan. 4 (Sun-Thu, 6-9 p.m., Fri-Sat, 6-10 p.m.) as the second annual Guma’ I Taotao Peace Festival: Dinaña Familia. Visitors can actually tour the inside of Government House on Saturdays and Sundays.

Approximately four miles of Pale San Vitores Road, also known as “Hotel Road” is decorated by beautiful Christmas decorations and special lighted displays featuring Santa Claus and cultural icons of Guam, as well.  

The Shop Guam Festival, which was started in 2012 may have helped this trend with a marketing campaign highlighting an array of retail, dining and entertainment discounts packed into the holiday season.

With 85 percent of Guam’s 160,000 residents being Catholic, you can also count on activities and events that reflect Christian traditions. Just check with your nearest church or religious community.

“Many people attend December 24 midnight mass,” says longtime resident Liza Francisco. “Normally, they have family gatherings on the 25th. Almost all restaurants are fully booked on Christmas Day, especially restaurants in major hotels during lunch and dinnertime.”

One perennial favorite event over the years has been Guam Lutheran Church’s Christmas Eve reenactment of the Nativity inside San Ramon Hills caves in Hagatna. This year’s Nativity could not be confirmed before press time, but the event was 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. last year and open to the public. It was followed by Christmas caroling. For details, call Guam Lutheran Church at 477-8595.

No matter what your preferences is, there should be plenty to do on island to ring in the holiday season. Get out and enjoy it!

Holiday Lights and Snow Show at the Micronesia Mall in Dededo

Micronesia Mall runs the Holiday Lights and Snow Show in its center court throughout the holiday season. A 30-foot Christmas tree adorned with more than 40,000 LED lights flashes in the center.

Moving holiday balls and blinking strobes surround the tree, while music blasts from a state-of-the-art sound system. As the music plays, the computerized 4-D lights flash to the beat. There is a train encircling the tree that children can ride for $1. Jolly old St. Nick smiles from the center, as children line up to whisper their Christmas wishes. For more information, call Micronesia Mall at 632-8881.

Naval Base Guam Holiday Party

2014 Naval Base Guam Holiday Party is scheduled for Dec. 19, 6 – 11 p.m. at Leo Palace Resort. All hands are invited. For details, call 339-2664.

Tropical Fantasy Fireworks

To celebrate New Year’s, Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association lights up night sky with fireworks off Tumon Gulf at 12 a.m. on Jan.1. You can enjoy the fireworks display on Tumon Beach. For details, call 649-1447 or visit: www.ghra.org/cal_event.php?id=574

RESORT HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

Hilton Guam Resort & SPA

Islander Terrace Buffet

Christmas Eve Special Dinner Buffet
• Dec. 24, 6-10 p.m.
• Includes champagnes, mimosas and wines
• Adult $45, Ages 5-11 $20

Chrismas Day Champagne Brunch
• Dec. 25, 1st seating: 11 a.m., 2nd seating: 1:30 p.m.
• Includes champagne, wine and iced tea.
• Adults $50, Ages 5-11 $20.

Caffé Cino
• Long Life Noodles at Lobby Lounge
• Dec. 31, 11:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.
• Soba (buckwheat) Noodle Soup: $14, Soba (buckwheat) Noodle Soup with Tempura: $17

Fisherman’s Cove

Christmas Special 4 Course Dinner
• Dec. 24 and 25, 6 – 9:30 p.m.
• $60 includes glass of sparkling wine.

Roy’s Lounge

Christmas Special 5 Course Dinner
• Dec. 24 and 25, 1st seating: 6 p.m., 2nd seating 8 p.m. and 3rd seating 9 p.m.
• Set dinner starting at $70.

New Year’s Day Special Dinner
• Jan. 1 and 2, 1st seating 6 p.m., 2nd seating 8:30 p.m. and 3rd seating 9 p.m.
• Set menu starting at $90

Location: 202 Hilton Road, Tumon Bay, Guam
URL: www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/guam/hilton-guam-resort-and-spa-GUMHITW/index.html
Call: 646-3463.

Outrigger Guam Resort

Palm Café

Christmas Eve Dinner
• Dec. 24, 6 – 10 p.m.
• Adult $47.95 and ages 6-12 $28.95
• Christmas Day Brunch/Dinner
• Dec. 25, 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Brunch), 6 – 10 p.m. (Dinner)
• Brunch: Adult $45.95 and ages 6-12 $26.95, Dinner: Adult $47.95 and Ages 6-12 $28.95

New Year’s Eve Dinner
• Dec. 31, 6 – 10 p.m.
• Adult $60 and ages 6-12 $35

New Year’s Day Brunch/Dinner
• Jan. 1, 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Brunch), 6 – 10 p.m. (Dinner)
• Brunch: Adult $45.95 and ages 6-12 $26.95, Dinner: Adult $47.95 and ages 6-12 $28.95

Bambu Bar

Midnight Fiesta
• Dec. 31, Gourmet Cocktail: 8 – 11 p.m., Celebration Party: 10 p.m. - 1 a.m.
• Adults $70 and ages 6-12 $40

Location: 1255 Pale San Vitores Road, Tumon Bay, Guam
URL: http://www.outrigger.com/hotels-resorts/guam/tumon-bay/outrigger-guam-resort/overview
Call: 649-9000.

The Westine Resort Guam

TASTE

Christmas Eve Dinner
• Dec. 24, 6 – 9 p.m.
• Adult $40 adult and kids $20
• Free flow sparkling wine and Heineken Live entertainment

Christmas Day Brunch
• Dec. 25, 11 a.m.- 2:30 p.m
• Adult $50 and kids $25
• Free flow sparkling wine and Heineken, Live entertainment, Raffle prizes, Santa with gifts for the kids

Christmas Day Dinner
• Dec. 25, 6 - 9 p.m
• Adult $50 and kids $25
• Christmas themed seafood dinner buffet, White and Red wine, Heineken, Amstel, Santa with gifts for the kids, Live entertainment

New Year’s Day Brunch
• Jan. 1, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m
• Adult $45 and kids $22.50
• Free flow sparkling wine, Heineken Bloody Mary
• Live entertainment
• New Year’s Day Dinner
• Jan. 1, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
• Adult $45 and kids $22.50
• Free flow sparkling wine, Heineken Bloody Mary Live entertainment

PREGO

Christmas Day Brunch
• Dec. 25, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m
• Adult $45 and kids $22.50
• Christmas themed lunch menu

Christmas Day Dinner
• Dec. 25, 6 – 10 p.m.
• $120 per person
• Christmas six (6) course menu
• Complimentary glass of Moet Chandon
• Christmas Specialty items available for eat in and take out
• Turkey and Hams to go, Gingerbread houses, Yule logs
• Christmas specialty cakes and pastries

Magic Rocks “Enchanted Night” Menu and a Special Magic Rocks Show
• Des. 31, 6 p.m. - Dinner, show starts at 7:45 p.m.
• Adult $170 and kids $55
• A glass of sparkling wine per “Enchanted Night” set dinner menu and a glass of juice per child menu
• Also includes entry to the Countdown Party and one complimentary drink voucher

New Year’s Eve Dinner “Masquerade in Venice”
• Dec. 31, 6 - 11 p.m.
• $150 per person
• Six (6) course menu
• Welcome Drink
• Set menu includes entry to the Countdown Party and one complimentary drink voucher

Magic Rocks “Enchanted Night” Menu and a Special Magic Rocks Show
• Jan. 1, 6 p.m.- Dinner, show starts at 7:45 p.m.
• Adult $170 and kids $55
• A glass of sparkling wine per “Enchanted Night” set dinner menu and a glass of juice per child menu

Starlight Barbecue
• “A Night In Paris” Countdown Party
• Dec. 31, 10 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.
• Adult $40 and kids $20
• Includes two beverage tickets
• Selected beverages with all night happy hour, Sparkling wine toast at midnight and Lucky draw giveaways

F&B GENERAL

New Year’s Eve Dinner
• Dec. 31, 6 – 9 p.m
• Adult $50 and kids $25
• Free flow sparkling wine, Heineken and Live entertainment

BANQUET

New Year’s Eve Dinner
• “A Night in Paris”
• Dec. 31, 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 a.m.
• Adult $150 and kids $75
• Cocktail reception 5 Course Menu
• Open Bar from 6:30 -9:30 p.m.
• Live band, free souvenir, Photobooth Includes entry to Countdown Party and two complimentary drink voucher

Location: 105 Gun Beach Road, Tumon, Guam
URL: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1057
Call: 671-647-1020

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