Kwento Kwentuhan

Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas: Family Fun Holidays Just Around the Corner

Liza of “A Maui Blog

The period of time from October to December is a time of many holidays across many cultures. The popular well-known ones here in the U.S. are Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. These three family fun holidays are just around the corner. Let’s talk story about them:

1. Halloween. When I was growing up in the Philippines, we didn’t do any Halloween parties or festivals. We didn’t put on costumes or go out for trick-or-treats. What I remember most was going to the cemetery on All Saints Day to remember our loved ones who passed away. However, when I recently visited the Philippines, I noticed that they (mostly kids) now wear costumes and go out for trick-or-treats (particularly in big malls and shopping centers).

For Filipinos who were born and grew up here in the U.S., celebrating Halloween is as natural as celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. Don’t you think so? I went to Walmart this weekend and saw tons of costumes for sale! I must admit, it is fun seeing kids in costumes (okay; fun to see adults in costumes too). Are you dressing up this Halloween? Are you going out trick-or-treating or staying at home giving treats?

The first place winner. Photo: Liza Pierce

2. Thanksgiving. Does your family celebrate Thanksgiving here on Maui? Even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the Philippines because it is an American Holiday, it is customary for Filipinos here in the U.S. to celebrate Thanksgiving as well. We take this opportunity to gather family and friends, eat bountiful and delicious meals together, and express gratitude for the many blessings we have in our lives.

Filipinos on Maui celebrate Thanksgiving Fil-Am style. Although there are traditional American Thanksgiving food such as Turkey and Pumpkin Pies, the food spread is always mixed with Filipino dishes such as Pancit, Adobo, and even Lechon and Leche Flan. In many gatherings, the Filipino families end up bustin’ out the Karaoke and doing sing-alongs.

While the Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival® is in October, the one Holiday it includes is Christmas because it includes the Oh Wow! Parol Making Contest®. Photo: Liza Pierce

3. Christmas. Ahh, I would dare say that Christmas is the Filipinos’ favorite holiday. Okay, maybe not every Filipino, but most. As I mentioned in one of my previous columns here in the Fil-Am Voice, many of us Filipinos start celebrating Christmas when the BER months start, which starts in SeptemBER. Part of it is because we didn’t celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving back in the Philippines. All we think about is Christmas.

One example of this is the recent Oh Wow! Parol Making Contest® held during the Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival® at the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center that was recently held on Saturday Oct. 12. The Parol Making Contest is in preparation for the Christmas celebration. We didn’t have an activity focused on Halloween or Thanksgiving, did we? Nope. There were many activities during the Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival and the one holiday oriented on was Christmas. Parol is part of our Christmas tradition and I was very pleased to see the enthusiastic participation of many contestants in the parol making contest.

We will talk more about Christmas in our December issue but while you are reading this I am curious … have you started decorating your house for Christmas yet? Have you set up your Christmas tree yet? Have you started buying gifts for your loved ones for Christmas? I bet some of you already have.

Christmastime is the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, we may be biased but it is part of our Filipino culture. We are into Christmas and I would say there is nothing wrong with that. Do you agree?

Liza Pierce of A Maui Blog is an Interactive Media Strategist in Hawai‘i. She started blogging in 2006 and she loves talking story online and spreading aloha around the world. She’s been living on Maui since 1994 and considers Maui her home. A wife, a mother, a friend…and so much more. She loves Jesus; Maui Sunsets Catcher; Crazy About Rainbow; End Alzheimer’s Advocate. Her life is full and exciting here on the island of Maui. Liza is currently the Interactive Media Strategist with Wailea Realty Corp.