Aloha E-Gang,

I was coming out of the Honolulu Club where we work out, when the parking attendant said, "Eh Brah, did you hear Christmas Trees on sale at Loews Waikele for a dollar!"  No sooner had she spoken than I was headed down H-1 towards Ewa for these magical trees.  It's ironic because after years of struggling and being away from home for the holidays, we now could afford an "expensive kine" tree.  Still who could pass up a tree for a dollar?

When I got to Loews, there were only a few left.  And they were sad looking.  Except for a couple 8 foot Noble firs that were quite fresh and normally would be in that "expensive kine" catagory.  After a couple moments of comparing, I shelled out my $1 plus 4 cents Hawaii gross excise tax.  That was when the sales guy said, "oh by the way, both K-Mart and Walmart are out of Christmas Tree Stands".

I knew there was a catch.

So I had him bag the tree for me and put it aside, while I set out to find a stand.  For what good is a Christmas Tree if it falls over every couple of minutes?

First I hit Costco.  I didn't find a tree, but I bought $300 worth of stuff for the fridge (and a DVD/VCR combo player).

Then I was tired.  Jet lag was kicking.  I had just flew in from Miami where I had taken out the biggest ship in the world, Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas (which by the way is no longer the biggest because of the Queen Mary, now the Gayest ship in the world...but that's another story).   Plus I had done a couple of parties in Miami (and my lunch at Emeril's was finally digesting).  You know how it is.  You can go, go, go, and I had been gone, gone, gone, on the road almost 9 months this year: Puerto Rico, Haiti, Mexico, France, Spain, England, Port Canaveral, Orlando, Miami, The Virgin Islands, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Malta, Italy, L.A., San Diego, Ensenada, Catalina Island...All the travel and performing my shows had taken it's toll.  It was time for a nap.

There's nothing like napping in your own bed, on a lazy afternoon, shaded by palm and eucalyptus trees, listening to birds sing.  Life is good.  But first I had to dress the turkey I bought at costco and put it in the oven.

I dreamt that I called Longs Drugs and they had plenty of Christmas Tree stands.  And they were all at half price.  Chinese Joy.  (I also dreamt that we had taken the tinsel off that old Christmas Tree we had years ago and stowed it in a bag to reuse again.  Now that's just being really cheap).

When I awoke, the turkey was done.  Rice was cooking along with gravy and sweet peas and carrots.  Friends had brought baked Brie and dessert.  Paul set out the coffee from Rome along with the place settings we bought in Ville Franche from our Med cruise.   Best of all, everyone had started decorating our Noble Fir with all those pretty decorations we got from Macys and that left over bag of tinsel!

As we sat down for dinner, I finally felt like I was Home.

Happy Holidays everyone.  Let us know how you're doing.

Mele Kaliki Maka and Aloha,
Matt Yee