Home History JCCCW Omoide Holiday Hawaii Style~JCCCW’s Omoide

Holiday Hawaii Style~JCCCW’s Omoide

By Lori Matsukawa, For The North American Post

A five-year-old girl lies on a goza (Japanese reed mat) on a warm December Saturday in Honolulu.   Instead of sugarplums, she has questions about Christmas, dancing in her head.

“How does Santa come down a chimney when our house doesn’t have one?

He flies around in a sleigh – what is that? And eight tiny reindeer – what are they?

 The song says:  Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you. Outside the snow is blowing  and friends are calling, “Yoo Hoo!”  If the snow is blowing , is that really lovely weather? Does it get in your eyes and sting like sand?

Snowflakes, icicles, snowmen and Jack Frost nipping at your nose. How cold is it when there are snowflakes? Like, if I walked into the refrigerator cold? Or maybe, walk into the freezer cold? Like swallowing ice cream until you get a brain freeze cold?

They say bad little boys and girls get a lump of coal in their stockings. What is that — coal?  We’ve already talked about having no fireplace to hang those stockings. I just lay mine on the floor under the Christmas tree.

Christmas trees.  The Douglas or Noble firs are so dry and brittle by the time they get to Hawaii, you’re better off with a fake one. But no Christmas smell.

Red delicious apples are not delicious. In fact, they are mushy and taste horrible! They are my least favorite thing in my stocking, besides Brazil nuts.

Mittens, scarves and sweaters — too hot! I get sweaty in five seconds when I put on a sweater. Is that why they call it a sweater? Sweat. Er. Yuck!

Baby Jesus in a manger. What is that? Oh, a hay holder. Why didn’t they say so? Hope he doesn’t get itchy or poked by the dry grass.

Jesus was born on Christmas Day. So lucky. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

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Omoide is developed under an umbrella of organizations supported in part by the Nikkei Heritage Association of Washington and the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington. To date, the Omoide team has introduced the project to several thousand students, 200 teachers, and 400 members of the general public over the past 12 years. These personal accounts have encouraged open dialog and discussions of constitutional rights, personal history, cultural development, immigrant experiences in the US, family values, multi-cultural issues and much more.