Ready for Christmas!!
Growing up in Pennsylvania and spending time in Japan, I know what winter is supposed to be like. Snow, pine trees, hot cocoa and soup, etc. So for some people spending Christmas in Hawaii would seem a bit monotonous.
But Hawaii has its own unique winter. The temperatures drop just enough to make fuzzy blankets and hot showers at night feel good. During the day we have trade winds and light rains that almost look like snow when you see the drops fluttering around in the wind.
Honolulu has its own unique holiday events, in addition to all the amazing unique traditions and cultures shared by the families that live here. Every year I enjoy watching parades, seeing the City Lights display, riding a christmas trolley, and taking pictures with a Santa who wears an aloha shirt. Our condo and surrounding buildings on our street have fantastic light displays, and this year I even joined in decorating my lanai window with a simple yet bold design--a string of lights taped up into a triangle shape, with a color-changing star at the top. From the street, it looks like I have an amazing Christmas tree in my window! My actual Christmas tree is a "pop up" style rainbow tinsel cone that we decorated with all of the usual ornaments like my signature spelling of "LOVE".
We have a big stack of presents by the tree for all of us, not including the loft bed that needs to be put together. Since we usually don't spend money on things like furniture and such, many of our Christmas gifts are household items. On my husband's birthday, I upgraded our coffee table from a low folding wood one to a nice false marble lift-top table, since Yasushi prefers sitting on the sofa to sitting on the floor. I still have the old one folded up just in case for parties and such, so it's not a waste. For Christmas, Chinami is finally getting a loft bed, which will really optimize and organize our bedroom space. I think I'm a bit more excited than anyone for it!
Of course there are things like video games, etc. non essentials, non practical items I would love to buy but this year seeing family and furniture came first.
2018 was definitely a great year and a year where we came first. We welcomed some great people into our home, we had an amazing family vacation where my children could get in touch with their roots on my side, and I took another step forward in my career and in my personal pursuits. Speaking of which, once again a door shut and a window opened. In December, I was told my hours would be cut, and instead of working 2 overnights and 1 morning shift, I would only be doing 2 overnights. However, the following week, one of our overnight ladies announced she would be leaving us, freeing up two overnight shifts, one of which I was able to take over starting next January. So instead of being uncertain, having Tuesday and Thursday free but not sure if I would be able to find a job to occupy the strange hours, and having a pay cut, I got another pay raise (more hours than before and at the higher overnight rate!) and Tuesday and Thursday can remain as "rest" days.
So that is part of the reason that I am here on Christmas Eve, awake past midnight despite having worked overnight shift yesterday. Doing overnight shifts two days in a row(and then again one day later) is not going to be easy, but it's the best option for me to be able to provide for my family and still have time to spend with my kids and pursue my own personal projects in 2019.
Merry Christmas to my beloved family, and may 2019 bring you peace and success.