Monday, December 28, 2009

Mele Kalikimaka

This is the Hawaiian way to say Merry Christmas. This year the familiar Christmas songs seemed a little strange in a country of sunshine and palm trees. Having grown up with the idea that a white Christmas was the ideal, it's hard not to think that a warm and sunny Christmas isn't second rate. Yet, it wouldn't be a Merry Christmas if we were constantly comparing Chrismas Present to Christmas Past. Shouldn't we find new ways to celebrate the Lord's birth, new traditions, and new memories? The story of Jesus' birth wasn't a pleasant way of explaining a crisis pregnancy. It was foretold in the book of Isaiah some 800 years before Jesus was born. In fact, there were thousands of prophecies that were foretold before Jesus came that He could never have manufactured on His own. And when He came, He came to preach a completely different message to the world. He said that the solution to their problems wasn't something they could solve. They needed peace. Peace with God, peace with men, peace on earth. And He became that peace for us. And then he commanded us, like the shepherds, to proclaim this news. With this in mind, we say Mele Kalikimaka, and may His peace be with you.

Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. Isaiah 24:14-16

For our tree this year, we opted for a Norfolk Pine, for its size and lack of mold. My sister-in-law, Rose, sent Christmas P.J.'s as she has every year since I can remember. Usually, they are neatly wrapped and placed on their beds when we return from our Christmas Eve service. But this year, a little elf put them on the beds. It was sweet to have this little taste of home.

We wanted to keep things as simple as possible this year. This year we gave musical instruments. A guitar for Lydia, ukuleles for the boys and a drum machine for Laura. After packing up a house full of must-haves that were used rarely and then stowed away, we made a decision to limit the amount of stuff we collect from here on out.
We began the day with a special breakfast, including a Christmas danish and of course, a cup of tea. This was my great grandmother's china. When we moved here, my Mom let us trade our daily dishes for this special china. We use it on Sundays and special days. My other sister-in-law, Carolyn, sent poppers and gifts to make the day special.

After breakfast, we took a hike to Makapu'u Lighthouse. And we called our families. It seems that hiking was the thing to do. It was full of people. Laura commented on how nice it was to not feel stuck in the house. She enjoyed the hike. So good to see her well. The snow back home would ruin all the improvement she's made.

This is the mountain we hiked.
That speck on the left is a lighthouse.

And this is the beach we played on. It was a Merry Christmas.

This year, we encouraged the children to consider memories they could make instead of stuff they could buy. Laura started the season off by taking us to see a musical rendition of, "It's a Wonderful Life." It was fabulous, we laughed and cried ( Jon and I, that is). Hawaiians are great performers. Yesterday, we went for a long hike up a mountain on the North Shore. So fun and so beautiful. Daddy treated us to order whatever we wanted and Jonathan treated the family to dessert at McDonalds. Then we came home and watched Lydia's gift, "Up". She's also taking us to Jamba Juice. Daniel is keeping us in suspense. To be continued...


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