Melekalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou. Keep your eyes closed for the picture of the ham if you keep kosher.

I am always clear that we do not celebrate Christmas. That does not mean that I begrudge others their celebration. On the contrary, I fully support whatever is your family’s tradition and the great joy it brings for you.

It just bugs me that it has to be so public and that there is no consideration that it might not be my tradition. Local culture as well as most retail establishments assume that everybody wants to get in the holiday spirit before the Thanksgiving turkey can be served as left overs and sandwiches.

At my kids’ school the Christmas trees appeared in the lobby on the first day of Chanukah and one of the teachers dressed up like an elf for weeks before the winter break. It makes my kids feel left out, not to mention that she looked a little silly.

I’d say it wasn’t a until a few days ago that I was ready for the world to enjoy Christmas, and I did manage to get into the holiday spirit in my way.

There were many firsts for me this year.

Since I helped organize the Kukui Center’s holiday party, I bought Christmas decorations for the first time in my life. I strolled the aisles of Longs and picked up some tinsel and ornaments and a couple of stockings. It felt weird and I hoped nobody I knew would see inside my shopping cart!

But the party was very nice and all the staffs of the 8 non-profits co-located at the center came together for a joyful afternoon and celebration of a year of hard work and helping people.

While it has nothing to do with Christmas, yesterday I went to my first tailgate party at the Aloha Stadium where UH played in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl and, more importantly, my older daughter danced hula in the half time show.

We got there early and set up and spent the day relaxing and enjoying the delicious hamburgers and sausages my husband grilled.

The girls got ready and nervously awaited their international half time debut. They and the other 300 hula dancers were televised and aired across the nation and in Japan.

And today I made my first ham! My husband’s battalion held a gathering at lunchtime and he was in charge of the ham. Never before have I cooked a holiday ham, but for the soldiers I did.

There wasn’t much to it. I put it in the oven and when it was warm he took it out. I’m sure there are others that employ much more art for their hams. But for this Jewish girl’s debut, I do think it was quite successful.

I did not join him and his soldiers to find out how it tasted. Instead, my younger daughter and I went out to deliver meals for Lanakila Pacific’s Meals on Wheels. This has become our annual Christmas tradition. We started last year and were pleased to have the opportunity to do it again.

She is thrilled and I am satisfied to do our part to bring some food and joy and company to other people’s holiday. We made goodie bags and she made cards and we hit the road to pick up the meals and distribute them on the west side.

So when all is said and done. Melekalikimaka to you and your family, even if you don’t celebrate.  It certainly has been a nice one for ours.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Martha Gershun
    Dec 26, 2010 @ 01:23:09

    I watched the Hawaii Five-O Christmas special while I worked out… does that count…?


  2. Phyllis
    Dec 27, 2010 @ 02:23:20

    Looks like everyone enjoyed the day, the food, the dance, the make-up, the music, the hula, each other and the applause. You got a great ham. Easy to just warm up. Tasty. Great as left overs. Harriet usually says a prayer over ham, ” Ham, ham turn it into lamb. Amen.” Do you know how they make ham? They pickle it in brine. So it’s a distant cousin to the pickle.
    Happy New Year!
    Phyllis from Malanai, VOC


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