December 5, 2000 Christmas Tree!
Last Sunday, we bought our Christmas tree at Waipahu Daiei. For thirty-something dollars, we got a beautiful six-foot tree. Christmas trees are a familiar part of the holiday season for me. My house has always had a Christmas tree. Even when I was in Japan, I purchased a little artificial tree with miniature lights and ornaments to decorate my apartment. So last year, when Kyle and I were “officially” roommates, I naturally expected to get a Christmas tree. We eventually did, but I also realized that not all families decorate trees every year.
Kyle told me that his parents hadn’t bought a Christmas tree since he was a child. I was surprised, to say the least! Instead, they decorated an artificial tree, brought up from storage every December. Somehow, I couldn’t even imagine using a fake tree! “What about the smell?” I asked. “What about the excitement of going to look for the perfect tree?” How could it possibly be Christmas without a real, live tree?
“Well,” he said, “What about all the little pine needles that fall on the ground?” “Who’s going to clean it up?” “Where, in our little place, are we going to put it?”
To my delight, I won this little debate, promising to clean up the mess, and find a good place for it. But moreso, I was happy that Kyle also enjoyed having a tree in the house. He thought it was pretty cool, and this year we got one without incident.
But I still couldn’t believe that he hadn’t had a Christmas tree for years. However, the more I talked with my friends, classmates, and colleagues, I found out that it’s not uncommon on Oahu. Conversely, some people were surprised that I had bought a real tree for just the two of us. Now I wonder what the ratio of tree to no-tree houses are!
I remember that as a kid, my parents would take us out to the tree farm to find our Christmas tree. We would walk around, looking at trees until we found a good one. Then, we’d stand guard, making sure that no one “stole” our tree, while Mom or Dad went to find a man to cut it down. Those excursions stopped while I was still in elementary school, but we still went to KTA, or somewhere to buy our tree.
People joke with me, and say that having a Christmas tree is just a “country folk” thing. But I think it’s important. Last Sunday, my niece and nephew came over and helped me decorate the tree. They had such a good time. I really hope they get one this year. It’s a wonderful tradition to remember and sustain.
|Susan Sensei’s English Lesson #57（スーザン先生の英語講座）
For two years I taught English in Japan, and was “スーザン先生” to my students in Ikaho town, Gunma Prefecture. I will try and introduce new words and phrases for the Japanese visitor to Hawaii. Here is this week’s situation:
“Sure. Just press the button. One, two, three!”
P.S. ワイキキもいいけれど、ホノルル･ハレや他のショッピング･センターにも足を伸ばしてみては？ レンタカーがあるなら、住宅地をまわってみて。家の外側をライトなんかで飾り付けた家がたくさんみつかりますよ。
|Loco Girl’s Profile（ロコ・ガールのプロフィール） Born in Hilo, I grew up going fishing with Dad, shopping with Mom, and trying to be a good “big sister” to a younger sister and brother. A Waiakea High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa alumni, I taught English in Japan for two years on the JET Program, and am now employed at PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. I love doing a lot of things-shopping, reading, lettering, making jewelry & crafts, watching Friends-and that’s just the start of my list! I like being busy, and am active with the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) and the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC.) My family and friends are, of course, very important to me, and are why I live a very typical, happy, local-style life in Hawaii and will never leave!