Office of the Governor – News Release: Gov. Green and First Lady Host Traditional Christmas Open House at Washington Place

Posted on Dec 13, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU, HI – Governor Josh Green, M.D., First Lady Jaime Green and the Washington Place Foundation will carry on a 164-year tradition by hosting a Christmas Open House at Washington Place from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, December 16, 2022. The event is free and open to the public.

The Christmas Open House at Washington Place is a tradition that began 164 years ago by Mary Dominis, widow of Captain John Dominis who built Washington Place. On Christmas Eve in 1858, she hosted a magnificent party for 100 of Honolulu’s children and their parents, thus establishing the Christmas tradition – with a Santa Claus – in the Hawaiian Kingdom, ruled then by King Kamehameha IV.

The celebration of Christmas and Christmas trees in family homes in Hawai‘i owes its origins to Mary, who planted the first garden in Honolulu and is said to have grown a Christmas tree from a sprig that arrived by ship in Hawai‘i.

Guests to the open house will take a guided tour through the 175-year-old home and learn more about the history of the time-honored Christmas custom at Washington Place. The Christmas trees of Washington Place, including a tree reminiscent of the 1858 tree decorated by Mary for the children of Honolulu, will be on view in the upstairs parlor.

The Hawai‘i Youth Opera Chorus ensembles, Cantilena and Gioventu, directed by Nola Nahulu, will perform a musical program from 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Reservations are required for this event and can only be made through this link: Christmas at Washington Place Tickets, Fri, Dec 16, 2022 at 5:00 PM | Eventbrite. Although the event is free, a $5 donation to the Washington Place Foundation is suggested for adults, with proceeds going toward preservation and programs for the historic home.

All adult guests are asked to bring a picture ID to gain entrance to the event. No large bags will be permitted, and all bags may be subjected to inspection. Free parking will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Department of Health building (Kina‘u Hale) at 1250 Punchbowl Street (parking lot entrance on Miller Street).


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Media Contact:

Makana McClellan
Director of Communications
Office of the Governor
Email: [email protected]
Cell: 808-265-0083

Event Contact:

Washington Place Foundation
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (808) 586-8040