Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

I have spent years vacationing and part-time living on Maui, Hawai'i. Whenever I'm there, inevitably people in service, neighbors and strangers will say "Aloha!" (hello, goodbye, love)or "Mahalo" (thank you). I never get pissed off and yell back - "I'm not Hawai'ian!". In fact I accept it as their culture being shared with me, they are greeting me in their own way. "When in Rome".

Between Halloween and New Year's Day, we're in the Holiday Season - something like 14 different holidays are celebrated in Q4. If somebody says Happy Holidays to me I'll typically reply with the appropriate holiday greeting I celebrate, for instance:

"Happy Thanksgiving" in November, "Merry Christmas" in December and "Happy New Year" post-Christmas. Much like "Aloha" I'm greeting and sharing with them, what I celebrate. I'm not disrespecting them by assuming they celebrate it too. They are free to greet me or reply to me with  "Happy Hanukkah" or "Happy Bodhi Day" or "Happy Boxing Day" to me and I'd feel we'd had a pleasant Holidays exchange. 

It is an opportunity to connect and share with others, so I focus on the pleasant exchange vs. the implication of the greeting being used. I'm accustomed to accepting Konichiwa in Japan and from my Mother-in-Law, Bonjour in France, Hola in San Diego and Ciao in Italy. I'm not sure when sharing our cultures and beliefs became an insinuation of disrespect over a simple salutation, but...


Happy Thanksgiving Active Rain and ...Aloha!


Cover Photo by Brady Knoll: aloha
 Image 2 by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image 3 by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay
Photo 4 by RDNE Stock project:

Posted by

Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
La Jolla/UCSD & Mission Bay Park Areas
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Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

Comments (11)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Aloha and Happy Thanksgiving, Thomas - that's the spirit.  Now get those hips into hula-readiness.


Nov 22, 2023 07:35 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Aloha Thomas,
Excellent point. Why get annoyed when someone is offering a message of joy, regardless of the culture or religious conviction? 


Nov 22, 2023 09:09 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Happy Thanksgiving and Aloha to you, Thomas. I've long hated this effort to dilute and homogenize everything to Happy Holidays. Next month, I'll be greeting people with Happy Hanukkah or Merry Christmas, as appropriate.

Nov 22, 2023 12:43 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Aloha and Happy Thanksgiving to you as well, although, eating turkey in that tropical paradise is not a normal meal. 

Nov 22, 2023 02:27 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Hmm, do some people get upset when someone says Aloha or Mahalo to them?  That would seem really odd to me that anyone would be offended by a kind greeting, haha.

Nov 23, 2023 04:27 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Brian England - not really the point I was making, not about aloha - but other Holiday greetings apparently yes - but thanks for popping by my post regardless!

Nov 23, 2023 08:55 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Couldn't agree more, Thomas. When we lived in South Florida, we said Happy Hanukkah to our friends who celebrated that holiday and if they wished me the same, I received it has a joyous wish from a friend. And vice versa, as well. 

Nov 23, 2023 10:43 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Thomas. Whatever one practices with certain boundaries, it should be respected. As for me I am of the "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year" crowd although given certain of my friends "Happy Hanukah" has come from my lips. Enjoy your day.

Nov 25, 2023 05:05 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

If people say something nice to me, like Happy Holidays or Aloha, I respond in kind.  It's all done in kindness.

Nov 25, 2023 05:29 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Happy Thanksgiving to you. Our older son is visiting from the Midwest and he commented about the sincere, authentic friendliness of people out here in NW AZ.

Nov 25, 2023 07:14 AM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Thomas, your post is a refreshing take on cultural exchange and respect. Embracing greetings like 'Aloha' and 'Mahalo' as part of the local culture, and paralleling it with holiday greetings, shows a deep appreciation for diversity. It's a great reminder to celebrate our differences with joy and respect. Happy Holidays and Aloha! 🌸🌏 #EmbraceDiversity #JoyfulExchange 🌟🎄

Nov 25, 2023 09:50 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Thank you Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC I appreciate your comment and insights.

Nov 25, 2023 11:07 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

One of my favorite places to share culture is Hawaii and I always enjoy my trips there Thomas 🙂

Nov 25, 2023 02:32 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Likewise Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS we were fortunate to grow up with a family home in Wailea since the early 1970's so its where we've spent the most out of state time including our wedding.

Nov 25, 2023 04:16 PM