Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka

For some reason, being away from my family this Christmas has hit me harder than the past two Christmases we've spent in Hawaii. So I set out to make it a memorable holiday season for us by dragging Jarrod along to do some Hawaii Christmas activities!

We went to Oahu's Christmas tree farm and picked ourselves out a (slightly oversized) Norfolk pine to adorn our living room.

We went to the Pearl Harbor Festival of Lights again this year. The boats used to transport vistors to the USS Arizona Memorial cruise around the harbor giving passengers a great look at all the Navy ships and submarines decked out in Christmas lights.


We also visited Hanapa'a Place in Kapolei to check out the storied Christmas tree made of Heineken beer bottles. The tree itself was amazing -- the lights in the bottles were timed to flash with Christmas music and it even had a train running around the bottom.

It was just a bonus that the rest of the cul-de-sac was decorated roof to yard in Christmas lights. It was like the Griswolds' house times five!

Last night we checked out the Honolulu City Lights display. The main attraction is the giant Shaka Santa and Mrs. Claus.



"Hau'oli Makahiki Hou" means "Happy New Year" in Hawaiian.


I came across a fun Christmas survey when I was checking out the blog Why Girls Are Weird and thought I'd participate too.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
I love cocoa, especially the Ghiradelli kind. Jarrod and Conan both love egg nog. Conan goes crazy when Jarrod lets him lick the last drops of egg nog out of his cup.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa wraps them, of course. That's why they always have special Santa-themed wapping paper and calligraphy-penned tags!

3. Multi-colored or white lights on tree/house?
We have multi-colored lights on both the tree and the house, although sometimes I think I'd prefer the more classic look of white lights.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, but that's not a bad idea!

5. When do you put up decorations?
This year we hung the lights up a little earlier -- the weekend after Thanksgiving -- and picked out our tree the first weekend in December.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Wow, this is tough. My mouth has started watering in the short time I've been pondering this question! We'll just say I love ALL holiday dishes, but right now I'm especially in love with homemade cranberry sauce.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child.
Asking Santa for a sign that he does exist and receiving an elf bell in my stocking.

8. When did you learn the truth about Santa?
Third grade. I accidentally found all the letters I'd written and supposedly mailed to Santa in my parents' filing cabinet.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We usually open one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Lights, ornaments (my mom made sure I left the house with plenty of Hallmark ornaments) and colored balls. We have a lot of ornaments already, but I've instituted a tradtion where Jarrod and I buy at least one meaningful ornament each year. This year we bought a gorgeous glass ornament from Kauai.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
Being from Colorado, I adore snow especially if it means a white Christmas. Unfortunately, there's no snow to be had on Oahu so I just have content myself with looking at all the snowy pictures my family sends from home.

12. Can you ice skate?
Yes! I even took an ice skating class in college.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Hmm... that's tough. Maybe the pogo stick I got from Santa in elementary school.

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Making happy memories and eating good food.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
I love all kinds of cookies and treats, but my favorite evening snack at Christmastime is a cheese ball with crackers. I only get a cheese ball once a year -- it started as a tradition with my mom and me -- and I savor each and every bite.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Watching "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." My family even has some inside jokes derived from the movie -- i.e. "the Cousin Eddie," a wound-up swift kick to the behind.

17. What tops your tree?

Nothing this year. Our normal tree-topper wouldn't fit on our Norfolk pine. I was going to tie a bow on top but never got around to it.

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving?
Giving! I pick up Christmas gifts for people all year long and save them up until December.

19. Candy canes. Yucky or yummy?
I love anything peppermint!

20. Favorite Christmas show?
We watch them all -- Frosty, Rudolph, Charlie Brown. The new "Prep and Landing" Christmas specials are cute too.

21. Saddest Christmas song?
"I'll Be Home for Christmas." It was written during WWII and is sung from the perspective of a soldier overseas who's dreaming about spending Christmas at home. The Josh Groban version has clips of deployed military members sending Christmas well-wishes to friends and family back home and it almost makes me tear up. But maybe that's just because I know my husband is going to deploy soon.

22. Favorite Christmas song?
I like pretty much all Christmas music but my current favorite is "Carol of the Bells." When I was little my favorite song was "The Little Drummer Boy" on a vinyl record my parents had.


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