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From the warm glow of twinkling lights to the sweeping elegance of garland hung along the porch, the welcoming holiday home begins with the exterior.
How do you decorate your outside space? Maybe you don’t decorate outside at all! No judgment! If you do decorate outdoors or want to try a new tradition this year, I have compiled a list of suggestions you may consider.

Often we take our outside decorating cues from how we decorate inside our homes. Do you have a color theme or even a seasonal theme, such as snowmen or Santas? Give your guests a little taste of that before they even enter your house. Would you love another tree but simply do not have the space indoors? Add one on your lanai or balcony or anywhere you can nestle the tree so no wind can disturb it. Just make sure you use lights specifically for exterior use.

Symmetry is a welcomed relief to some crazy designs out there! (We all have the neighbor with 53 blowups in their yard!) Matching wreathes on every window and front door with equal amounts of garland on each side keep the decor simple and classic. Add lights to the garland and wreathes (or purchase pre-lit ones) to add a warm glow. A gorgeous wreath lit by a spotlight, gives a simple grand entrance all on it’s own. If you have double doors, double the wreathes.

How lucky you are if you happen to have a pine tree in your yard. Use non-breakable, weather resistant ornaments and add lights, if desired. Choose a single color for a simple, modern look or use whatever you happen to have on hand. We all know trees don’t have to be pine to get covered by twinkle lights! Be careful out there and try not to fall when scaling the palm trees!! Seriously, they just look so fabulous wrapped with copious amounts of lights! 🙂

Do you have columns out front? These can be wrapped with pine roping, garland, lights or even decorated as snowmen if they are white. Cut out felt eyes, noses, smiles, buttons, etc.and use Velcro pieces to adhere to the pole and wrap with a big scarf! Make one male and the other female, how fun would that be? Put spotlights on them and the neighbors will love it!

If you have large art pieces such as nut crackers or snowmen, flank your front door with them. Large lanterns can also be used, filled with lights, pine cones, ornaments or even a flame less candle.

Signs that say a favorite sentiment such as “Believe”, “Joy” or your family name can be purchased at many craft fairs, or if you are handy, stencil your own. Set this display out of the wind, but somewhere easily seen!

Hang small wreathes from your porch lights.

Add a wagon, bucket or fill old boots or skates with greens and add a bow.

Wrap large, weighted packages, stacked and tied with a big ribbon and place on either side of your door.

Do you have an outdoor bench? Add holiday pillows and a seasonal throw to set the mood! You can also add different decorations to the bench, such as a small Christmas tree or a wooden box filled with pine cones and the like. Of course, this would also work for a porch swing.

Instead of a wreath, use a basket filled with pine branches with cones and holly attached to your door.

Create large balls from chicken wire, wrap with twinkle lights and either hang them from trees or place them on the ground, perhaps lining your walk way.

If you opt for using outdoor lighting, pick the proper lights. Always choose lights rated for outdoor use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions as far as how many strands can be safely connected. Net lights are perfect for draping over shrubbery or just laying on the ground to give a cool shimmer to your lawn. If your property happens to be on a hill, the effect is especially pretty at night.

C9 lights are the old fashioned larger bulbs that have recently made a comeback. Perhaps it is due to nostalgia or the fact they give a clean, modern look. (interestingly enough!)

Replacing your lighting this year? Consider LED lights. The initial cost is substantial compared to the regular twinkle lights, but the value is more than made up by the extreme longevity of the strands and cost of use. I, personally, have some strands that are entering their eighth season!

Choosing a “winter” theme will allow you to keep those decorations up even past New Year’s day. Specific pieces like Santa will have to go, but snowmen and pine cones can stick around a little longer!

Line your eaves with icicle lights or string lights, but however you choose to decorate be so very careful! Let your youngsters climb up and wrap lights around all the trees!

Whether this time of year is all about Christmas, the beautiful celebration of Hanukkah, or however you choose to mark this holiday, we wish your family all the beauty, lights, and tradition this season holds!

Cathy, Mary and Jeff


If you want to get wine, champagne or sake for Christmas you better get a gigantic stocking or Santa will have to take the bottle back to his sleigh and then forget redelivery. Alternatively you can go to one of many specialty shops in Honolulu for a special occasion and to stock up. Another choice would be to join a wine club and get regular delivery.
Champagne is a great choice for all the holidays. I recommend Schramsberg’s Pinot Noir or even their entry brand Mirabelle Rose. Many places carry their brand including Fujioka Wine Times and Tamura’s. I actually recommend that you join their wine club. Two bottles three times per year and four at holiday time. Another great choice in the pricier level in Drappier Grande Sendree Brut or Rose that are disounted at both Fujioka and R Fields in Kailua and Honolulu. Drappier has minimal dosage (added sugar) so it is a littler drier.
If you have a little Japanese in your soul, get some sake. There are many places to buy sake including Don Quijote, Marukai, wine stores etc. However, if you want personal attention go to the Sake Shop on Cooke Street in Honolulu. Nadine and Malcolm are the owners. I am really enjoy Nanbu Bijin Shinpaku Junmai Daiginjo “Southern Beauty” and Nanbu Bijin Tokubetsu Junmai”Southern Beauty”. Often junmai sakes taste too strong for me, but this is smooth, fruity and delicious! It won the IWC Grand Prize Champion for 2017. Finally, I am planning on buying some Nanbu Bijin Awa Sparkling Junmai Ginjo. It is made with a local rice and volcanic water. It is stated to have a calming floral aroma and a crisp carbonation which offsets the soft mouthfeel of the sake. I have not tried it yet, but I just reserved two bottles since I am out of town and afraid it will sell out.
Kanpai, cheers, sante?, prost … to all of you!



December 1st ….The Kaneohe Christmas Parade will begin at the Windward Mall and move down Kam Hwy to Castle High School. The parade begins at 9 AM, traffic in and out of Kaneohe will be a challenging until noon.
December 1st… Lanikai Craft Fair will be held from 9 AM to 3 PM. Parking may be a challenge, plan ahead.

December 2nd… Kualoa Ranch will host the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship. The run is open to runners of all ages. There will be abbreviated courses and even a fun walk. This will be an wonderful opportunity to view some of the most breathtaking scenery on Oahu.

December 7th… The Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade will proceed from Fort DeRussey down Kalakaua to Kapiolani Park. It begins at 6 PM.
December 7th.. The EAGLES will be in concert at Aloha Stadium. Our own Jack Johnson will be their special guest performer. Get your tickets….

December 8th.. GUNS N’ ROSES will take over the Aloha Stadium. Rock on, it’s not too late to get some tickets…
December 8th…More parades to enjoy. The Kapolei City Lights celebration starts at 6 PM with a parade from Fort Barrette Rd to Kapolei Parkway for the tree lighting a 8:45 PM.

December 9th…over 20,000 runners will lace up for the Honolulu Marathon. The course runs from Waikiki Beach through Diamond Head to Hawaii Kai and back to the finish line at Kapiolani Community Park.

December 15th…Enjoy the Festival of Lights boat parade at the Hawaii Kai Town Center.

December 16th….The Make a Wish Foundation will sponsor the Jingle Bell Rock Run. This is a FUN RUN all are welcome including your pets. There will be food trucks if you need an extra boost along the way 🙂 The Jingle Rock begins at the State Capital Lawn at 3 PM. Create a team and have some fun for a good cause 🙂

December 31st.. Ring the 2019 with a bang!! There are plenty of venues for fireworks including:
* Waikiki. The fireworks will be set off from a barge near Waikiki Beach.
* Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Turtle Bay Resort
Four Seasons Resort at Ko Olina *Kahala Hotel and Resort
And in everyone’s backyard across the state!!


Lionel Richie will be in concert in January at the Blaisdell Arena. If you plan to go, buy your tickets in December….

November 30th-December 23rd… The Diamond Head Theatre will present Irving Berlin’s “Holiday Inn”, a classic Christmas musical.

December 14-16th Find hundreds of vendors at the Honolulu Craft and Gift fair in the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. Expect crowds and go early.

December 14th-16th ..Hawaii ballet will perform Nutcracker at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. It is not too late to get tickets from the Blaisdell Box Office.

December 21st-23rd…The Blaisdell Arena will sponsor the Hawaii Open with top professional tennis players. For more information check out the website:

December 21-22nd…The Blaisdell Concert Hall will present Johnny Mathis singing some of his best hits and lots of Christmas music to brighten the holidays.

Enjoy the Holidays!

Kind regards,
Cathy, Mary and Jeff