Christmas in July

LIHUE — It’s never too early for Christmas.

Santa Claus recently discovered a treasure trove of Christmas and other seasonal holiday items hidden in the back of the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Lihue.

“There are things everywhere,” said Phil Worwa, aka Santa in Paradise. “We had Christmas trees which visitors used to celebrate here and dropped off before heading home. We have commercial ornaments which have been dropped off after the holidays. We have a lot of good Christmas stuff.”

The Salvation Army thrift store will celebrate with a two-day “Christmas in July” event today and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Jeanne Dooley said there will be Christmas trees, accessories, lights, decorations, and more, all at reduced prices.

The Salvation Army Thrift Store will also have special deals on toys.

“We’ll also celebrate the end of summer with special children book titles which will sell for a dime apiece,” Dooley said. “It’s back to school time for the children, and it doesn’t have to be a sad time. We can celebrate with toys, books, and Christmas.”

Mary Lucas, caretaker of the Hanalei Community Center, followed in Santa’s shadow, picking through items she could use for her holiday open house, Dec. 1 when keiki will decorate the Hanalei Community Center.

“This is happy everything,” Lucas said. “It’s party everywhere. I already found things I can use for my doorways.”

Santa plans to be at the Christmas in July on Friday and will be more than happy to be photographed with keiki for their holiday cards. He’ll also be sharing holiday happiness during the Koloa Plantation Days parade on Saturday.

Worwa said if someone tracks Santa by NORAD, Kauai is his last stop after making Christmas Eve rounds.

“Santa likes the sun and surf,” the gentleman in red said.  

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