First of all, a belated Merry Christmas wish from this Malae!
The family Christmas meal was often prepared early so that the rest of the day was spent with fun and games. Volleyball was a favorite, though some families sponsored lawn bowling using a regular ball and tin cans for pins. Some of these games had monetary prizes. Hence, bingo was also popular. But the malae still serves as the center of activities where the children showed off their simple yet coveted toys.
Perhaps one of the most common ways Christmas is celebrated by Samoans is with drinking parties by adult men. Consumption of alcohol - commercial and otherwise (homemade brew, watered down methylated spirit, etc.,) - is at its highest during Christmas holidays than at any other time of the year. These parties usually start early morning, and so by mid afternoon, drunks were already leaving their party hideouts and started to amble and swagger into the village malae, strutting their stuff. Drunks actually represent a familiar sight on Christmas Day.
There are usually two types of drunks during Christmas holidays - the comedian and the bully. The comedian would start dancing and making all other funny gestures telling incoherent jokes. He also becomes very talkative, mostly nonsensical blabber. The worst that could happen to him is indecent exposure from a dropped lavalava (wrap around attire)
The bully, on the other hand, who acquires a sense of invincibility from his inebriation, would make loud kiususu (native war cries) issuing challenges to anyone. He becomes a man with superhuman powers, at least that's how he sees himself.
The comedian is usually guided home to have a good sleep, while the bully is sometimes tragically put to "sleep" by some of his assailants.
Speaking of sleep, the village rarely finds time for it on Christmas night. The nocturnal revelry punctuated by blasts and explosions fired by bamboo cannons keep everyone up and in the merry and festive spirits of the season.
And that's a snapshot of a typical Christmas when I was growing up as a little boy in Samoa. Much of it, I'm sure, is still reenacted today. It is indeed "the most wonderful time of the year."