Santa arrives in Waikiki—how else??—via canoe, so we scrambled into the car early Saturday to see! Unfortunately, we sat in traffic so long that we missed his arrival completely. We listened to Christmas carols on the ukulele and watched the lovely hula dancers at the Outrigger Hotel, but I was disappointed we missed the main event. Isaac really really really wants Santa to bring him a certain toy, but he is as scared of Santa as ever, so he refused to pass the important toy info verbally and opted instead to safely send Santa a letter. Eloise heard there were candy canes to be had, so she greeted the jolly old elf with only slight trepidation. When he asked what she wanted for Christmas, she said, “A candy cane!” which he produced on the spot. Holiday magic!
Then we sat in traffic again to get back to the other side of the island for our squadron’s kids’ Christmas party. Again, we totally missed it. The pizza was gone, the gingerbread houses were assembled, the trees were decorated. But this time we did get to see Santa arrive (via motorcycle) and both kids came within arms reach to pose for a photo before zooming to the trinket table.
I should have known this was too much to cram into 24 hours, because the kids had been up late past their bedtime the night before at Waimanalo Country Farm’s Live Nativity. We went early for ukulele Christmas caroling on a hayride and dinner, then roasted marshmallows and calmed down the kids’ frantic refusals to use the port-o-can in the dark. I think the kids’ favorite part was the snow bubble tunnel. Then all got quiet and dark for the Nativity. The stars stretched bright overhead; a donkey brayed in the night; a star led the shepherds and wise men to baby Jesus.
We didn’t leave until an hour past their usual bedtime. When we got home, Isaac ran up onto the deck and said, “IS THAT WHAT I THINK IT IS?!” Thanks a lot, Target, for canceling my order to pick up in store and delivering the enormous and much-desired-by-Isaac toy onto my doorstep three weeks before Christmas. “Ummmm…I….ummmmm maybe one of the houses behind us ordered it and it got delivered here by mistake…..” I hedged. The late hour and deep disappointment was too much: Isaac burst into tears. What a mess. I told him he could ask Santa for one of his own, and he sobbed, “But you said no! You said we don’t have space!” This is true. We do not have space for this enormous, junky plastic toy, and it is insanely expensive, but it is the only toy Isaac has asked for, and he’s been asking for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks. As Chris said, “I want to teach him there’s hope in asking for things.” That was too adorable for me to keep being a Scrooge, so I got it (slightly on sale). So I told Isaac, “You can write Santa a letter asking for it, and if you get it Christmas morning, I won’t say no.” It was 9pm and Isaac went right to work, crafting a letter to Santa: “Dear Santa, I have been a good boy and what I want for Christmas is a [redacted] and 140 cars. From Isaac”
The next day, Saturday, after our morning failures and a long nap for all, Isaac came running out of the spare room. His eyes were shining LIKE THE SUN. The SUN, I tell you. “Mom! I was just looking at that thing! It looks so cool! Which neighbor is getting it?” “Um…were you in the spare room?!” “Yeah!” “Did you see Eloise’s Christmas presents?!” “Yeah! But I won’t tell her!” “Did you see anything you thought might be for you?” “Yeah! Legos.” “Buddy! Gee whiz! Don’t tell Eloise, please, and forget you saw any of that. And please stay out of the space room until Christmas!” “Ok!” His eyes continued to light the entire solar system for hours. His whole body was practically humming. “MAAAAAAN! He saw everything!” Chris moaned. “Oh, bummer,” said my mom when I called her. “Well, if anything, he’ll just be even more excited for Christmas now.”
So that is how, in just 24 hours, we failed Christmas Season 2017. Groan.