Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas in Hawaii | Virtual Advent Tour

From the shores of beautiful Kauai, a very Mele Kalikimaka to all of you and Happy Hanukkah! Christmas in Hawaii is spent at the beach with palm trees lit and Santa arriving by canoe. My traditions include both holidays and festive cooking from homemade latkes to gingerbread cookies.

Two days ago I was at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens at Poipu and took this photo of an ornament hanging from a tree and the blue Pacific beyond. My wedding is planned in April at this same meadow. Thanks to Marriage Equality in Hawaii, I am engaged to my long time partner Jeff.

I was clueless what to share with you until a dream this morning woke me up with my late Grandfather telling me, "share my Christmas poem!" Of course! My grandfather wrote this poem many years ago about his Christmas as a child in 1915. Almost 100 years have passed! There was no electricity then so candles in the house illuminated his childhood tree decked with homemade ornaments and strings of popcorn.

I hope you enjoy this fond look back and that it creates memories of your special childhood holidays.

Old-Fashioned Christmas Tree
by Calvin Eaton

How often I've wished as Christmas time nears,
That I could go back across the long years
And see once again that old-fashioned tree,
Just as my parents would trim it for me.

In the living room corner it stood straight and tall,
Soft lights from the candles would glow on the wall.
With ornaments and gumdrops the boughs were all dropped,
While over and around them bright tinsel was looped.

Strings of popcorn and cranberries in the tinsel entwined,
And hung from the branches candy canes you might find.
Then in the very tip top to make it just right,
A bright angel glowed in the candle's soft light.

Each day for a week when the daylight was gone,
We'd light all the candles as darkness came on.
Many years since then are now in the past,
The candles long since have flickered their last.

Now a modern tree is a sight to behold,
With boughs all a-glitter with silver or gold.
It's a thing of much beauty, I fully agree.
But I still love that old-fashioned Christmas tree.

You may also like my previous Virtual Advent Tour posts on homemade ornaments and baking tips plus Hanukkah on Kauai. Wherever you are, I send the warmth of Hawaii to you and a wish of Aloha. Happy Holidays!

Special thanks to Kailana and Marg for hosting the daily Virtual Advent Tour.


  1. HI Rob, such a lovely place to make your vows.

    Your grandfather's poem is very moving and reflects what is missing most during the busyness of the holidays. I love to sit in front of my tree with the lights on and enjoy.

    1. Aloha Heather! Thanks for your kind words about my Grandfather's poem. Thanksgiving in the US was later this year - November 28 - so it seems like we're all rushing around trying to catch up. You're right that we need to remember to just sit back and appreciate the simple pleasures of the season. Our tree went up a few days ago...enjoy your tree lights and holiday. Mele Kalikimaka to you! Rob

  2. Love the poem! Thanks for joining in this year!

    1. Mahalo, Kailana! I remember when my Grandpa wrote it way back in the 1960's. I'm glad I could share his poem on the Virtual Advent Tour. Thanks again for hosting. Happy Holidays to you! Aloha, Rob

  3. What a charming reminiscence of Christmases of yore!

    1. Mahalo! I look forward to reading your post on the Virtual Advent Tour on December 20th! Aloha from Rob

  4. what a sweet poem. Enjoy your day at the beach--I am freezing here in Utah. I enjoyed your advent post very much. Have a Merry Christmas. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

    1. Stay warm, Kelley! It must feel like the holidays in Utah. I appreciate the compliment on my grandpa's poem. Mele Kalikimaka to you!

  5. Nothing like a beautiful poem that came from the heart of a relative. Thank you for sharing.

    Here's my Virtual Advent: The Last Year We Decorated Christmas Cookies with My Mom.


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Ho'ola'i na manu i ke aheahe

"The birds poise quietly in the gentle breeze."
Said of those who are at peace with the world, undisturbed and contented.