Mele Kalikimaka by Kayli Telfer


Courtesy of Kayli Telfer

It’s finally December – one of my favorite months, especially for eight-year-old me!

It’s the start of the month and I’m begging my Dad to go get the tree; it’s always been a family tradition of ours to get a real one.

He said we have to wait a little longer, though, so it doesn’t die before Christmas actually gets here.

As much as I want that Fraser fir, it’s so spectacular around our house at this time of year, I almost don’t care. Dad is always blasting Christmas music (more like blaring) and although Mom complains, she secretly loves the energy of it all.

We all have our own little jobs when it comes to decorating.  My brother is always the one who helps string up the lights; Dad makes it seem like it’s some kind of art, which let’s be honest – it is.

As for me… I’m an ornaments girl – that’s the part I really enjoy. 

My brother and I are in charge of watering the tree, we take turns each day to make it as fair as possible. 

At night, we put Rudolph on the television and sit together as a family, watching commercials that would advertise Frosty The Snowman coming up next. The fact that my dad watched these when he was a kid made it all the more special.

Property of

 Fast forward a few weeks and finally, t’was finally the night before Christmas – I simply couldn’t sit still; Santa was coming with boxes he’d fill. 

Patience has never really been my strong suit, especially this year because mom says we have to wait for dad to get home before opening our presents. Dad’s at the firehouse this Christmas Eve which means he doesn’t get home until tomorrow morning at 8:00 am.


Fast forward seventeen years and here I am with four boys of my own, aged eight, seven, six, and two… yeah, I’ve got a pack, and each of them love Christmas just as much as I did, if not more. 

Courtesy of Kayli Telfer

Seeing their excitement for the holidays always brings me back to when I was a little girl. It definitely causes me to go above and beyond, to make these days even more special for them. Along with the traditions my mom and dad started, I’ve added some of my own.

I will never let a fake tree into this house, I told myself… it’s of the utmost importance that it’s real. Little did I know that one day my own OCD would betray me as we now have a fake one in the kids’ area.

Yes, we have two Christmas trees.

When we start the holiday decorating, I try to assign the boys jobs, just like it was when I grew up. They actually get super excited to put everything up with me but then when it comes down to it, it seems they are inseparable from the Lego villages they’ve just created.

I guess it could be due to the fact that I obsess over the ornaments.

”Remember not to group the same colors or shapes too closely together, boys!” I’ll yell every so often. 

My husband always sits back and laughs because he knows no matter what he says, I will move those ornaments around until they’re perfectly distributed!

Courtesy of Kayli Telfer

We still share some of the classic Christmas movies together, but our pick each and every year is The Grinch – it’s the boys’ favorite!

Needless to say, Christmas time always feels special to me; we get to spend extra time together and remind each person how much they’re loved! It all fills my heart with so much joy!

As for new traditions, we make cookies on Christmas Eve for Santa each year and make sure to leave carrots out for the reindeer.

Every weekend in December, we try a new recipe; the boys seem to love helping me bake from scratch, which, thank goodness! This year we even made salted dough together – I almost can’t handle the domesticated cuteness.

Oh, and we made Christmas garland (did I mention how much I love this holiday?)

I could go into detail about our Christmas dinner, about driving through neighborhoods to look at lights, or filling stockings, but instead I’ll conclude by bringing you into my world at the present moment.

I’m sitting here on the couch drinking a cup of coffee, watching my boys play and I can just hope they cherish these moments.  That they pass our traditions down to their children. 

And with that, I leave with a tear in my eye, and a reminder to hold your loved ones close this season – whether it’s in person, through FaceTime, or via Zoom – the memories will be with you forever. 

Mele Kalikimaka from my ohana to yours!

Property of