Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent Calendar- The Christmas Tree

Last year I posted a story about the first Christmas Tree in Hawaii, which was set up and trimmed by my great aunt Mary Dominis for a party in 1858. We finally got to visit her Honolulu home this past summer, but since it is now a museum house we couldn't get a photo of the parlor where that famous Christmas party took place. Photography is not allowed inside Washington Place. So you will have to be content with this photo from the Hawaii Star Bulletin newspaper, 2002, which showcased a reproduction Christmas Tree at Washington Place for the annual public Holiday tour.

The 2002 Christmas Tree
at Washington Place, Honolulu

An excerpt from a book about the first Christmas Tree party in Hawaii:
"Christmas passed off in good old fashioned style. The eve was ushered in by the assemblage of a large number of children and their parents at Washington Place, the mansion of Mrs. Dominis, where Santa Claus had given out that he would hold his court.... A magnificent Christmas Tree had been provided... and the little folks as they gathered about it...found it all lighted up with candles, and the branches bending with the weight of gifts. Prompt as old Father Time ever was, bells were heard at the windows... and in a moment old Santa Claus stood at the door before the youthful group, who greeted him with a volley of merry shouts. He was dressed in the garb in which children love to image the saintly old elf.
"For an hour he bestowed his gifts with princely lavishness among the 100 children present, creating one of the happiest groups ever witnessed in Honolulu... who will long continue to talk of Santa Claus of Washington Place."

from Hawaiian Annual for 1922, Thomas G. Thrum, compiler and publisher, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1921, page 60, available to view at Google Books.

Last year's post about Mary Dominis's Christmas Tree at this link

Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. So fascinating! And I love the tree. I've never been a fan of understated trees, but this one put's mine to shame.