Post 38 — Manuia le Kerisimasi . . .

Sears coverWe don’t know what the natives intend to do about Christmas but we are already thinking about it. When we went swimming last week, we found a lovely driftwood branch that looks like a denuded Xmas tree. So we hauled it home and at the present have it draped with ulas (leis made from shells). We intend to use it for our Christmas tree. We have found some little round seed pods to paint and are saving the wrappers from Winston & Salem cigarette cartons. They wrap them in red & green foil paper here; we have great plans for our decorations! Haven’t given the present idea too much thought as yet —the first thing that popped into our heads was a case of toilet paper. They want 60 cents for a four roll package here. We’ll discuss it a bit and let you know.


Chrissie waited until all three of her sisters cleared the bedroom before reaching between the mattress and box spring of her rumpled, sand-filled bed. There was a strict Mom-rule that stated All Feet Must Be Rinsed and Dried before going to bed to avoid this exact type of filler, but Chrissie may have missed that step a few times this week. Her fingers closed around the slick, shiny tome and she pulled it out, pen clenched in her fist. To have a few stolen moments with this miraculous book filled her with joy and wonder, and she planned on taking full advantage of it.

BarbieThe book fell open to a page that had been pored over for weeks, and Chrissie gazed covetously at the group of four who stared boldly back at her. Hair piled high with a swooping bang that barely allowed the cat-like eyes to bore into her soul, challenging her to do it: to circle the page number and proclaim that this was the number one item on her Christmas list and no stupid farm set was going to be accepted as a substitute.

More than troll dolls, more than board games, more than life itself, Chrissie longed for a Barbie doll. She wanted to vicariously experience that stunning sense of fashion, to stroll with the dashing boy toy Ken on her arm. She didn’t even mind Barbie’s stupid little sister Midge who had a hairdo that looked distressingly like her own. Her life would be complete if only they were to become her new family.

Unfortunately, the other strictly enforced Mom-rule in the house was No Barbie Dolls. Her mother felt these toys were too adult for her daughters and had never allowed any of them to play with them. Chrissie took one last at those exquisitely arched feet and sighed. She couldn’t foresee that four years of going barefoot on the island would guarantee that she would never achieve that look for herself. She flipped over to the trolls and scratched the product number onto her Christmas list.

Christmas promises to be warm and wet, but this hasn’t altered the prospects of getting all sorts of loot as far as the girls are concerned. A present by any other name would smell just as sweet. Our Christmas tree is composed of a driftwood branch, wrapped in aluminum foil and decorated with tiny blinking lights, made in Hong Kong. They have real trees shipped from the mainland, but they are asking about 25 bucks for them and I’m just not that sentimental.

We got our mail about an hour ago and we really hit the jackpot. The couple who picked up the mail this week (we take turns) took all the letters to their house, sorted them, then wrapped each bunch with a ribbon and card. The mail was late because of the volumes of bags which had to be organized. We got a couple of letters and about ten thousand Christmas cards, mostly with little notes saying, “Write when you get a chance”. We don’t wish to be petty, but I have to keep emphasizing that Jean and I average about ten letters per week between us just keeping up with our regular correspondence. We answer every letter we get and occasionally initiate new correspondence when the opportunity arises. So pass the word along again, will you? Them that writes—gets.


3 Comments to “Post 38 — Manuia le Kerisimasi . . .”

  1. You actually found art from the 1964 Sears Christmas catalog? Pretty impressive. The Barbie in the red suit looks like she’s ready for “Baywatch,” 30 years early. So that’s what Pamela Anderson was going for.


  2. Our parents were too frugal to splurge on a real tree. I’m not sure if any were even available in the years we were there (1980-82). My father had a solution, though. He always did.

    He screwed a hook into the ceiling and then ran wires from it down to a hula hoop. He then ran green garland and lights around the wires and we hung ornaments from the lights. Ta-da, a floating Christmas tree.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: