The Island Spirit Of The Holidays

Driving around the island this time of the year is very interesting. You would expect people to be in a festive mood, smiling and spreading good cheer. But how happy do you have to be to get out in the elements and string up lights around your home?

I noticed the lights decorating Chaminade University one night last week and couldn’t believe how beautiful they are. It’s true that Chaminade University staff puts up Christmas lights every year, but this year they outdid themselves.

A couple of weeks ago, the City put up its Santa Shaka display complete with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and flashing lights everywhere. Being a little cynical about the commercialization of the holiday season, my first thought was, “Well, as much taxes as we pay, it’s only right that the City try to do something once a year to lighten the taxpayers’ burden.”

Of course, that’s not the only reason government officials put them up, but it does give you a warm and fuzzy feeling to drive by the lights. Maybe that’s the ulterior motive, but even if it is, it doesn’t explain why so many residents decorate their homes during this time of the year.

If you have stopped to take notice, some of the Christmas lights on private residences are truly remarkable works of art.

I remember a time when local television stations would select a private residence each night during the holiday season to show viewers that some people out there really have the holiday spirit in word and deed.

With all the social media available these days, there should be no lack of visual evidence that Honolulu has the holiday spirit.

Yes, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is something to behold, but our “Christmas Parade” has its own personal charm.

So how about thanking anyone you know who has taken the time, effort and resources to put up a Christmas light show on their property with “Congratulations, you have made this a better holiday season.”

The hope is that the practice is contagious and others will try to do something to spread the holiday cheer.

We need it.

But remember, be green.