Oh, Christmas Tree

My oldest son’s birthday is in early December, so I’ve always waited until after that to “go Christmas”. And, even though he now lives on the Mainland, I still adhere to that tradition. However, every year trees from the Northwest come in earlier and earlier. This year they arrived before Thanksgiving (a travesty). But, I knew if I bought a tree at this time, in this humidity, it would be dead by Christmas, so I waited. Luckily, Home Depot didn’t bring their trees in until after the first week in December. I’ve always disliked artificial trees, eventually they will end up in the landfill and stay for, what I’m sure, is about a thousand years. I real tree can turn into mulch in a matter of weeks! As you know, I live in a small studio cottage so space is at a premium. I don’t have the room for a large tree, about 4 feet tall will suffice. So, off I go to HD. They had a great assortment of small trees, unlike most of the sites in town. I carefully chose one that “called to me”. It has thick needles, a lovely piney smell and good spacing. Of course, NOT $8 or $10 like in the “olden days”, but worth the $30 I spent.
My Little Christmas Tree

My Little Christmas Tree

 

Somewhere in my storage shed were all my ornaments I’ve treasured for several decades, but, well, I didn’t really want to put forth the effort to try to find them. So, I opted for lights, silver garland and lots of tinsel (I so wish it was the old kind that was heavy and stayed on the tree through cat meanderings). I did find that box. And, lo and behold, it had two little ornaments in the corner. So, along with the shiny things are now a “Jack in the Box” holding a sign of “JOY” and a beaded blue tree! I’m not classic white when in comes to lights. I like mine in a riot of color. I need a top for the tree, maybe a bright red bow, yes!
I’ve had so much fun this holiday season. I’ve been line dancing my fool head off. Went to the Elks club and joined about 75 others on the dance floor. It was fun to see so many men dancing! Many wearing cowboy hats and boots which, for me, is an immediate attention getter. Dancing at the Eagles club this week. I’ve been to way too many potlucks, fun gift exchanges, concerts and cantatas. There is now snow on Mauna Kea so the feeling of Christmas is in the air.  I do love this time of year!

Christmas at the Maui Airport

This year I am off on Christmas Eve so am able to go to my church’s candlelight service and help in the afternoon with the preparations. But, I do work on Christmas Day (evening shift). Because a lot of people don’t travel as much during the Christmas holidays the evenings at the Airport Shuttle have been somewhat slow. We’ve had some time on our hands. So to help pass the time we have been doing a little bit of decorating. We have been coloring (I still remember how to stay within the lines) and making cut-paper snowflakes. We hung a wreath, some garland, some candy canes. The airport is getting rather festive. We have our weekend musicians back playing Hawaiian music and throwing in some Christmas carols. The hula dancers are wearing their red and white holiday colors. Starbucks is offering all kinds of holiday flavors like gingerbread, peppermint and caramel. This coming week I will be showing up in my Santa hat. This is my third year celebrating Christmas at the airport. So here are a few pictures of our doings during the slow periods:

The State's Christmas tree

The State’s Christmas tree


The first year they've done this. I like it!

The first year they’ve done this. I like it!


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The first year they've done this. I like it!

The first year they’ve done this. I like it!

Our wreath

Our wreath

A colorful addition to the rather bland setting

A colorful addition to the rather bland setting

The many colors of Christmas

The many colors of Christmas

Our kind of snowflakes!

Our kind of snowflakes!

Let's see how long the candy canes last.

Let’s see how long the candy canes last.

A golden wreath

A golden wreath

Kalikimaka in Kula

While winter generally brings to mind snow, sledding, icicles and freezing temperatures, here on the island of Maui the daytime temperature is still in the 80’s. No one is sledding, there is no snow nor icicles. However up the side of Haleakala mountain it is crisp enough to remind us the winter months are fast approaching. Last night was a perfect reminder of the Christmas season.

Each year the company I work for has a company party. But, this year instead of having a “one for all” they decided to have intimate parties for each of the groups. So, we were escorted in the company Mercedes shuttle up to Kula for our surprise destination. It was magical…a fairy land of lights, a delightful table-scape in the yard and a five course meal that was on par with a five-star hotel restaurant. The night was crisp but there was a fire pit for warmth and ambiance. It is difficult to capture that feeling of togetherness. And, to have the General Manager, the HR Manager and the Staff Manager cooking and waiting on us was exhilarating in how special it made us feel.

We began with an open bar which for me meant a Tequila Gimlet! Next were the pupus (appetizers) of edemame and poke (soy beans and raw fish with onions, seaweeds and spices). Then, came the most delicious manapua I’ve ever had. Next was a luscious salad with homemade croutons. The main course was an Italian seafood soup with clams, mussels, shrimp, crab and white fish. After all this delectable food, we took a break to open gifts and warm our hands by the fire. Then to top it all off, back to the table for creme brulee with the perfect crunchy topping and caramelized bananas.

Since I had left my camera at home, my friend and co-worker Rieko was kind enough to share her photos with me.

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A beautiful setting for a delightful party

A beautiful setting for a delightful party

photo 2-1

A composite of some of the yummies

A composite of some of the yummies

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Yum-yum

Yum-yum

The Maui Airport Shuttle crew

The Maui Airport Shuttle crew

I am reminded that it isn’t the snow, presents or cold weather that epitomize Christmas. It is Christ, wonderful friendships, co-workers who care for their employees and times shared with loved ones.

MELE KALIKIMAKA A ME HAU’OLI MAKAHIKI HOU…Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the island of Maui.