Start an Island tradition this holiday season …

November, 2005

As I dragged out the fall decorations last month, I realized how much decorating for the holidays means to kids. I purposely decorated while my boys were at football practice so they would be surprised when they came home. They were delighted to see the scarecrows, which I had made out of their old clothes, propped up on the front porch (see below). They toured the house, commenting on each of the treasures they hadn’t seen since last year.

I remember when the boys first discovered the “secret” about Santa. Jokingly, I suggested that, now that they knew, we didn’t need to bother getting a Christmas tree or putting presents under it. “But Mom, it’s a tradition,” one of my sons replied, horrified at the thought.


Traditions create lifelong memories. Some traditions, such as Thanksgiving dinner, are as much about spending time with loved ones as they are about the meal and giving thanks. Home is never as important as it is during the holidays. Since I don’t have extended family in Hawaii, the past few Thanksgivings were spent at the home of our dear friends, the Elliotts. Unfortunately, the Elliotts recently moved to the Mainland, and, while we will always cherish those holiday gatherings, I’ve decided it’s time to start a new island tradition.

What makes it a tradition is that you repeat it year after year and pass it on from one generation to the next. I can still remember how, when I was growing up, we would go around the Thanksgiving table and share something, for which we were grateful. I have carried this tradition on with my sons, and the things they come up with are very comical and surprising.

Here are some new Island traditions I thought of:

      • Take a plate lunch to the beach. How many people in the United States can go to the beach on Thanksgiving?


      • Decorate your Christmas tree with shells and starfish.


      • Spend the day at Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park.


      • Decorate palm-tree and boat-shaped Christmas cookies out on the lanai.


    • Go surfing in Waikiki.

It s never too late to start your own new tradition, and how wonderful to create one unique to our islands.

Happy holidays & happy home!

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Terry Rollman