First we all met at a fabulous Italian restaurant downtown. There were forty-seven of us in our group. Those poor waitresses! I can't imagine trying to keep all those orders straight but they did a fantastic job!
Then, we drove over to an annual display of locally made wreaths and trees.
Apparently, every Christmas there is a contest for wreath making and tree decorating. There were lots of entries from kids, and school classrooms clearly did it for fun, but there were also some beautiful and interesting wreaths. There were many different categories, so more people had a chance of winning.
This picture was not a set up.
It has flowers created from old soda cans and water bottle lids.
There were a number of wreaths made entirely out of seashells or that had ocean themes.
I found it really amusing that the health center made a wreath extolling the virtues of it's employees and.....SPAM.
The kids liked this one because it had mice scampering all over it.
Next we went into a room filled with the decorated Christmas trees.
Thank goodness this was indoors because at this point it was flooding again outside.
We saw this giant display of Santa and Mrs. Claus outside. Another Christmas is done and they are dangling their feet in the wading pool outside the building. Santa is flashing the "shaka" sign which is Hawaiian for "hang loose" or "it's cool". Mrs. Claus is wearing a bracelet that says "Mele Kalikimama". Santa is also showing a little hairless chest there.
After the stroll through the decorations, we all drove back to the house of one of the couples at the church. We had to drive down one of the major highways to get there and got to see a dozen fireworks shows along the way. They were going off in every direction.
All the neighbors in the neighborhood we were visiting apparently have a really good time with fireworks every year. (Well, actually the entire island really enjoys fireworks on New Years.) There were five aluminum ladders in the street that had fireworks tied all over them. At midnight they set them off and it looked like a giant ball of fire and smoke with a few sparkles here and there. There were professional level fireworks going off all over the place. I thought at first that we were actually watching a show from a nearby hotel, and then I realized that it was actually the men and teens in the neighborhood who were shooting off these gigantic fireworks. And of course my kids were right down there in the middle of it. I said quite a few prayers for safety for all concerned, let me tell you.
So many fireworks were set off that I eventually had to go back inside the house because the smoke was too thick. It was the same way on the drive home. So many fireworks had exploded, it was like driving through a hideous smog in New York. We could only see a few feet in front of us and even the lights from other cars were nearly impossible to see.
We had all brought desserts to share and Kerry and I had picked up some chocolate macaroons (since we don't have enough bowls and pans to make anything from scratch at this point.) One of the 12 year old girls took a bite of one of our macaroons then ran across the room and barked it out into the trash can. She spat a few times for cleansing effect and then flung the remaining macaroon into the trash.
I think she liked it.