A Poppy Day After Christmas

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Sunny winter greetings, 

Today, we outlined a menu for the 2002's New Year's Day Party that we are hosting for the 'ohana (family).  

It is tempting to leave the party preparations to the last few days before New Year's, but this can make it more of a chore than a celebration.  And we intend to have fun doing it. 

A carefully thought out New Year's Day party is one of the most important gifts we can offer our family and friends here on the mainland.  

We drove out to Marukai, a gigantic warehouse-style store in the LA suburb of Gardena, to case out the Japanese and Hawaiian foodstuffs to help us plan the menu.

When we got home, the sun was at a perfect slant to illuminate these amazingly gorgeous Iceland poppies into explosions of color, right outside our suburban home.  Click here for an enlargement to get a fuller sense of the light playing on the crinkled silk-looking, delicate petals.

The beauty of these seemingly water-colored blooms of pink, apricot, tangerine, yellow, and white flowers was breathtaking and yes, mouth-watering.  Enraptured, I pulled out the digital camera out of my bag and began snapping away, hoping to preserve the memory of these blooms. 

I love gardens, poppies, and my new camera. I took all of this day's good fortune as a positive sign to go all out for this party.

The New Year's Party is the culmination of the holiday season. Of all the traditions, no other single event embraces island and  family customs so endearingly, so completely for those of us from Hawai`i.

It is not just another meal; it's an event. It's TRADITION.

In Hawai`i, the New Year's Party is even bigger than Christmas.  It is a joyous time when folks gather together to "talk story," share island traditions including fireworks and contribute to a richly laden table with potluck dishes. 

This is the one time of year that no one worries or feels guilty about about portion size or substituting lower-in-fat ingredients. We go all out to savor our island past as it was meant to be.

Like many Hawai'i expatriates, we want to make sure our island customs are kept alive. For many of us, the New Year's party embodies the most memorable of them. 

We hope to pass some of our island traditions on to the next generations, so they too, when they are old and grey, may one day have wonderful memories as bright as the poppies outside our window, now gracing this page as well. 

A Traditional Japanese Custom in Hawaii

"Life is a Gift."

With anticipation,
Author Unknown

P.S.  If you would like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to this journal entry, you may do it here.  

 "The only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


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This web journal was created on a September Morn, 
September 29, 2001
September Morn 2001