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.
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.
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.