off to Hawaii for Christmas

posted on: Tuesday, December 14, 2010



I want to tell you about my first Christmas in Hawaii but first I have to explain why our Christmas tree looks like it went to a drive thru fast food joint and came back decorated. Baby Maria kind of stole Christmas this year with her destructive behavior. After putting the first red glass ornament up I started having visions of her not only breaking each and every red and gold glass ball but also trying to eat it. I put the box with my favorite Christmas decorations away and took the "other" box down. We're going for tacky but safe decorations this year.

And now Hawaii, where we'll hike up the mountains to find the perfect pine while looking down at the clear ocean, wearing shorts and a tank top because the weather is sure to be sticky and hot.

We're off to Hawaii today where we'll get to hang out with Christian's mom and 3 of his 5 siblings and their families. Baby Maria will get to play with her cousin baby Lilikoi who's a week and a half older than her and baby Bo who's 2 weeks older than her. Then there's Mikey and Minami, the older cousins who live in Hawaii and Gio and Zeke who are Lilikoi's older brothers and right around Enzo's age. We'll miss the Indiana Palmers with their two daughters and the NY Palmers with their 4 kids, including (hold your breath) a baby cousin who's also 2 weeks older than baby Maria.

I haven't spent Christmas in Brazil since 2003, the year I fell in love with a Yale student who spoke Portuguese, had wild curly blond hair, and grew up in Hawaii. I was 20 years old and it was the first year I would be away from my family and meeting another family whom I wanted to impress more than anything in the world. That Christmas I realized that getting one person to fall in love with you is hard enough, getting a whole family with 5 siblings, their spouses,and their kids to fall in love with you is impossible.  If this is the year you're meeting your fiance's family for the first time I wish you luck. We can share stories when you come back.

It was a very hard first Christmas away from home.
Other than the fact that 99% of it was lovely, Hawaii is not the worst place to be, and I ate real cherries for the first time. Still, a lot of it was miserable.

The truth is that Christmas can be miserable. I've come to accept that if you're religious and you try very hard 40% of Christmas is remembering Christ the other 60% is feeling disappointed. If you're not religious, and frankly even if you are, it's more like 90% feeling disappointed and the other 10% gets spread out between, loving Christ, loving the food, and enjoying the family.

There's something safe about spending Christmas at home, even if it's disappointing. For instance, I know most of my uncles will be drunk, I know I'll either get no presents or one present from my family like the empty shoe box I got one year that had a note inside "we can't afford the shoes you want but when we can we'll get it for you."  That Christmas was more like 110% disappointment with zero redeeming memories. On top of the junk present I broke my foot the first day of Christmas vacation and my parents weren't speaking to each other. They are now happily divorced.

Hawaii was the opposite of home. I got more presents that first Christmas in Hawaii than all the other Christmases combined. No one was drunk, amazingly. I was with the guy of my dreams who wanted to marry me and through a series of crazy circumstances one of my best friends from Brazil ended up spending the day with us and helped me feel more at home. Still, I missed my crazy dysfunctional family and my crazy dysfunctional Christmases with them.

Seven years later and we're off to spend Christmas in Hawaii again like we have done almost every year since 2003. Things are much easier now that I don't feel like I need to impress anyone. By now they either love me or at best tolerate me. Plus, now that I have two kids it's more about them anyway as it should be. I'll miss my family in Brazil and will call and skype a million times before Christmas even comes around. But, in all honesty there's no place I'd rather be than spending Christmas in Hawaii with Christian's family.

Hopefully Christian won't be disappointed with the waves and will get to surf lots. I mainly want to hang out with the kids and eat melona bars all day long and then have really good dinners at night. I've been so busy this quarter working full time and Enzo has been in school so much, I'm really looking forward to spending more time with him. I'm looking forward to picking Adam's brain with all my photography questions and spending more time with Christian's sisters and the 8 grand babies who will be running  around the yard jumping on the trampoline and taking communal bucket baths outside after the beach. And since I can't find my cell phone it will be really convenient to be next door to Mariko, the only person who calls me every day on my cell phone.

I have some posts scheduled, mainly some DIY projects I want to share with you. In fact I have one for today about snacks for planes and travel food bags you might enjoy. I'll also be posting from Hawaii sending some warmth and sunshine your way when I get a chance. This is a busy time of the year. I won't be offended if you don't read my posts or leave comments. Please don't be offended if I'm on the quiet side as well. I'll just assume we're both having fun. Nothing like coming back from vacation and finding your google reader full of good reads.

If this is your first Christmas away from home I wish you a smooth and memorable Christmas.
For everyone else I wish you a wonderful Christmas with time to relax, play, and eat.

ALOHA!

31 comments:

  1. What a lovely post. I enjoyed reading about your first Christmas in Hawaii! I wish I was going to Hawaii for Christmas. :)

    Enjoy your holiday :)

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  2. Aww have a wonderful time and Happy Christmas, sweetie. Enjoy your stay in Hawaii and wish you a safe trip
    Kisses and hugs

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  3. Christmas in Hawaii sounds pretty awesome. Have fun!

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  4. Ahh. Lovely post. Christmas is a good and yet difficult time, no? Have fun hanging with the family and Mariko - I hope you guys do a post together about making something...or just hanging out! Aloha. Please, please, please have a shave ice for me made with that soft Hawaii water. Okay, this is my order: Light syrup of lilikoi and guava. If they have mochi balls, please add. Thanks, m

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  5. Have a wonderful time in Hawaii, Damaris! I get such a kick out of the fact that you're leaving San Fran just when I'm arriving there (which would be today) -- maybe we'll pass each other in the airport. And I agree with you -- Christmastime can be really stressful and disappointing for many people. I just try to enjoy the time I get to spend with family and skip gifts as much as possible.

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  6. Have a wonderful time! How lucky to have found such a wonderful family to be part of! I know it is very hard to be far from your parents, but I am happy for you that your life is so full of love and wonderful people. Merry Christmas e tudo de bom for the new year!

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  7. Have a wonderful time in Hawaii Da! Two years ago around Christmas time was my first time meeting my future in-laws. They're great and it was lots of fun and also its fair share of awkward ha. This is my first Christmas without my parents and sisters-we're spending it with my husbands family. I'm excited though, his youngest brother is 4 and still believes in Santa (yes, huge age gap). It's been a while since I've had Christmas morning with a 'believer' haha. Travel Safely!

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  8. Every year I think "WHY didn't we just go away for Christmas?" You're right, good and bad. I'm always exhausted and each year I think I'm not going to try and do it all and each year I do anyway. Glad you have landed in a place where you can look forward to your Christmas.

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  9. Have a fantastic Christmas! I'm envious of your Hawaii Christmas!

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  10. Sounds incredible. I hope you have the best time ever........

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  11. Have a wonderful visit. Breathe in the Laie air for me...it's been so long since I've done it myself. And, give Pammy a big hug from me!

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  12. Oh malona bars! Hope I get to see you why you're out here!

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  13. OH MY GOSH! I have just been thinking about Melona bars this week. My actual thought was, "Hey, why don't I market Melona bars on the mainland (at Walmart actually - death of America) because I would be really rich really soon with really minimal work".

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  14. Mmm..now I want me a Melona bar!
    Hawaii is awesome!

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  15. Damaris, how fun Christmas in Hawaii...by the way love you "FELIZ NATAL" ornament ;-)

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  16. my first christmas with tony's family was hard too. sorry we weren't that easy on you that year. i'm so out of the loop, i didn't even know you had a cell phone. at least we'll have hawaii to force us to catch up.

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  17. Wow, lucky girl you! I can imagine that Hawaii has it's own style of celebrating the holidays! I live near no family so my friends are like blood to me. We are raising our kids together ans transplants and loving it...MOST of the time

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  18. Lovely post. Have a wonderful trip - and give Mariko a hug from me.

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  19. I identified myself a lot into this Xmas post, Da. I had very dysfunctional and disappointing Xmases back home too but at the same time it's also hard to not have those Xmases anymore. It's a weird feeling isn't it! I guess what is left is the hope that I can change my Xmas habits with my new family...this year we won't even be seeing his family and we are kind of happy of having slow, peaceful and solitary holiday days...but, my hubby is all I need :)
    Have fun in Hawaii!

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  20. @Estela @ Weekly Bite Maybe one year you can. It's really worth it (typing in my swim suit, see what I mean?)

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  21. @Karissa Jade Ferguson Enzo is a total believer and so are his cousins. We're lucky it makes it super exciting. Super!

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  22. @Le Mama! Lets get together for sure. I want to see Ofa.

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  23. @Metta You totally should. I'll eat lots of Melona bars for you.

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  24. @sienna All the kids are running around and acting crazy (but fun). It will feel complete when you arrive. I'm really looking forward to spending time with you. Te amo muito.

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  25. I love your blog!

    Christmas time is always crazy, lol. Enjoy your Hawaii trip and WELCOME TO THE ISLANDS!! Which island are you visiting?

    Merry Christmas

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  26. It's been a while - I've been MIA for far too long - but I wanted to wish you the happiest Christmas in sunny Hawai'i.

    I'm glad that your holidays are no longer (as) disappointing :)

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  27. How amazing!!! I hope you're enjoying yourselves tremendously:) (but then again, how could you not-- it's Hawaii??!)

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  28. I love that you share so much with us! How lucky to be in Hawaii with your family and spend the holiday there. I always hate hearing when people have disappointing Christmases, especially as children...it breaks my heart! I hope this one is a great one filled with lots of memories and happy times :)

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