06 January 2012

Manuia le Kerisimasi

Christmas was a humid-hot, mosquito-bitten, wrapping paper-less, plastic tree, afternoon experience. Samoa added its own twist on the holiday morning, which started off with an early combined ward sacrament at the Lotopa Chapel. It was hot, and I definitely craved for a lauhala fan from the markets after. It's always nice attending sacrament with family and filling up rows of seats. Mahie was passed like a hot potato among her aunties, nana, papa & cousins. Although we all were a sweaty mess, I enjoyed every minute of being surrounded in another language. If only my Samoan language teacher could see me now....well, he'd shake his head at how lost I was in translation. Three semesters, tsk. tsk. haha, I could pick out certain words and phrases though. Hearing no English reminded me of attending church in South America, and deciding that EVERY language BUT English, is so beautiful to listen to; especially when it comes to singing hymns. If one thing I definitely enjoyed from Paraguay & Argentina, is following along in the hymn book.

It was only Sacrament, so we returned home and the kids kept wondering when they could open their presents from Santa. After a few hours, even I started to wonder when they would open them too. I forget why we waited long....but the house was filled with tummy-tasty smells. And then soon we all gathered in the living room around Dad with his Santa hat. The kids went nuts and hovered around him like flies as he passed out the gifts.
Our little Mahie was definitely spoiled by Santa (aka Nana & Aunties in New Zealand/Australia). And I'm glad Santa read our minds and bought her tons of clothes. Mahie is a very long baby and seems to be growing taller by the minute. The new clothes came just in time, seriously a volleyball player in the making. It was cute seeing her enjoy her first Christmas. I think she was surprised that James and I allowed her the chance to rip things apart. She looked at us, then the wrapping paper.....then went to work opening her gifts. Clothes, clothes, clothes (woohoo!), teething toys, bath toys, crib light, stuffed animals, NZ lollies (for James & I haha) and a couple other nick-nacks. Thank you Santa(s)!
The adults had done a Secret Santa name exchange prior to Samoa and we all got some awesome & thoughtful gifts. Mum & Dad received the ultimate gift from James & his siblings: a new MAC computer! Yes it was beautiful and I want one next year Santa. The kids were also cute in doing a pixie exchange between cousins and Mahie got a cute little woven bracelet.
The room was covered in wrapping paper & children trying to play with three or four toys at once. haha, I totally had a childhood flashback! I'm glad that my children will grow up with many fun cousins, loving aunties & uncles, wise grandparents and family-filled events always centered around the Gospel. What a good looking bunch right?

I still missed Christmas back in Laie with my family and all of my Mom's festiveness. I know she truly would have liked all of her kids home (Aaron on his Mission, Us but especially Mahie in Samoa, Ike and Kiana in Kona, and Hills leaving to California)....but their presents made up for it in a way. The secret gift I made for my Dad (who was my pixie), was inspired from Pinterest: I placed it in a long panoramic wood frame. Even I was very proud of my final project.
What was also wonderful and very cool was Ike's gift to Mom. My parents have no pictures of their wedding day or reception, since Dad's best man accidentally destroyed the film, or something like that. Well, Ike went through the storage boxes and collected the destroyed negatives he found and sent it to a guy....who was able to retrieve & restore the lost photos and put it in an album. Everyone said my Mom got emotional when she opened the album and realized what it was. It's so interesting to look at those ALMOST forgotten photographs, especially the one's with our great-grandma Hannah.

I need to always remember to make and give meaningful gifts :) Christmas 2011 was a hit! We miss our Elder Kaahanui, but he's written saying he's totally enjoying the MTC life! Hope you had a moment of happiness during Christmas :) Love us.


  1. awww i love the gift for grandpa, so adorable and great idea i may steal in the future :) so fun that you all got to spend holidays in samoa! looks like you had a great time. happy new year aspinall family <3

  2. I LOVE YOUR GIFT FOR GRANDPA! And I love interest. hahaha and I LOVE your Samoan Christmas ( did u have to eat a lot of corned beef?! or coconut?! Or fish?!). And Asher is so big now! I LOVE your Christmas post, I can't wait for mines to be more festive this coming year!

  3. omg. cutest grandpa gift ever!!!!

  4. Pretty sure I was laughing so hard when I saw your 'I <3 my Samoan Husband' shirt. My mom was in Samoa with my sister this past summer and she bought Kai a 'I <3 my Samoan Wife' shirt just like yours :)