Saimin Christmas Eve Memories : A Tribute to Our Other Siblings…our Cousins…


Today is Christmas Eve, 2016, and all those goofy people in the photo with me are my cousins, my Tutu Wahine and my Auntie Bernie. It is to these people who I owe much, because without them, the title to this writing would not mean a thing. They each and all know all about Saimin and Christmas Eve and a blow-out that would rival most keggers…held yearly, in Covina, at that house on Grantland Drive…

All Hawaiians have one very real thing in common – our cousins are not just our cousins, but are, instead, our other siblings. They are, truly, our brothers from other mothers we call “Auntie,” and our sisters from other misters we call “Uncle.” They are the ones to whom we go when it is that our actual siblings piss us off, and more, are the ones who we choose as those we would consider to be close enough to think of them this way.



If I could change the way that the world works and could make it so that we would not grow up and become these adults, and could remain those kids we were, all those years ago, sitting in my family’s home in Covina, every single Christmas Eve, I would do it, just for a little while. For me, those days never went away. I can still see Mahea and Kalani in the back yard, in the three stories tall treehouse that was taller than the damned tree, and all those things we did not want to eat (because Nana told us it was good, even though it was looking at us) ended up in Ali’i’s cage.


If I could turn back the hands of time, just for a few minutes, so that we could all be those little kids again, and all watch Uncle Jack come into the room out of my parents’ room, dressed as Santa, I would do it in a heartbeat. How better could I tell my kids all about those days, and how better would I make it be alive for them, other than to help recreate that same Love-Energy we had goin on, that in some small way, we still got goin’ on?

Crazy island people_JR22_9thIslandblog

How better indeed….

How better would I be able to let them know that even though they don’t have as many cousins as we had, and how better would I let them know that what we were doing at that time was simply just making certain that when we got to this point in our separate lives, we would each and all be able to venture back to that time, that time when there was an ocean of saimin, mounds and mounds of teriyaki, pounds and pounds of rice and turkey gravy and everything else edible that our mothers could create for this…spectacle….every year, for years and years.


…no one could just park across the street, or down the street, or on our street…there were way too many people at the house, and sometimes, people had to stand up to eat. We used to get told by my mother that we were not allowed to eat in my room, but, it wasn’t like she was able to stop us…had too many people at the house…

…and of course…there was this lady…who we all love and miss so very much…


This one too…


You guys…I want you to know that, no matter what – I Love You.

I have always Loved You…these are the things that make me know, for real and for sure, that we were never ever really apart…just doing our lives the way that we see fit.


Regardless of whatever it is that you have been told, want to believe, are guessing…I Love You…All Of You…no matter what you have heard.

Thanks for all those times we ate all that saimin, and thanks for all the laughter and all of the horrible renditions of “Don’t sneeze when you eat saimin” and our awful mimicry of Auntie Marialani’s Cooking Show (“not too sweeeeet….not too ran-sedd…but JASSS right!”)


To you all I bid many many nights laughing as you tell your kids about all those times at Auntie Sheila’s and Uncle Ronnie’s house, Christmas Eve, every year. To you all I bid every ounce of Aloha within me that makes you each and all know that I am never too far away…just think of me and I will be there, just like when I think of you, there you are.


To you each and all, I would give the stars and the moon, would make sure to make you laugh, out loud even, so long as you did not hurt.

I Love You…All of You…patrick-picking-a-big-ole-booger

I know that not all of you are in these photos, but, I also know that you all know who you are, and I thank you each and all for coming with me back to the days of no parking, uku-plenny saimin, Uncle Jack wearing red…and all of us together…

Our cousins are our siblings, and they are the ones to whom, on this night every year, I send my Aloha…every single one of you.

Merry Christmas, guys….

I Love You !



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