The holidays in Hawaii are definitely different than what most people think the holidays are:Annie, your story about the dog bowls brought tears to my eyes, and a for a brief moment I thought WOAH! Just yesterday I posted a link to share with children about the true meaning of Christmas and the first story was just that. A little girl wanting a dog, but opening bowls and was confused. LOL Thank you for sharing!!
-No white Christmas
-No sleigh rides
-No warming up by the fire
-Not even any cold weather!
But to me the holidays, especially Christmas, are a feeling more than anything else. Every year, all my family members take off of work (if they have to work on Christmas) and even the pets are included! We arrive at my parents' house around 8 in the morning and my mom cooks us a simple, but big, breakfast of eggs, bacon, pancakes, and fruits for the humans, and she always has an assortment of treats for the pets. One year she even packed up little gift bags of FISH food for anyone who owned fish! Anyway we'd have Christmas music playing in the background, always performed by a local Hawaiian band because my dad won't have it any other way. We all just enjoy each others company for about two hours, catching up with everyone, then it's present time!
We all gather around the tree and usually the youngest kids get to sort through all the presents and place them in piles according to who they belong to. My family and I take turns opening presents while my mom makes a big list of who-gave-what-gift-to-who so we'd have all the information down at the end of the day (later, my dad will put all the names/gifts into a spreadsheet and email it to everyone). BTW, my best Christmas gift ever: dog bowls! I've wanted a dog my entire life and asked my parents every year for about 12 years but they would never get me one. But Christmas of 1998 was the best! I opened up the gift from them and I literally just started crying! Two days later, I had my first dog and still have her today!
So anyway, all the gift opening usually takes till lunch time and then we order out from the same restaurant every year... not so much because it's good, but because it's the only restaurant open on Christmas day! All the family members stick around till around 2 or 3 then we slowly make our way home.
Christmas is my favorite holiday because of the family-time I get to spend with everyone and it's the one day we all let go of any petty fights or bad feelings towards others and we just get along! To me, this makes the holidays special and I look forward to it every year!
There are still a few days left, if you HAVE NOT participated yet, I welcome you to join in! IF you have and want to again ~ I would LOVE that!