This Christmas will be particularly special for the Kalaluhi family. After moving into their completed Habitat home in August, they wasted no time celebrating and gathering together in their new multigenerational home, which has become both a sanctuary and hub for family and friends.
Since moving in, they’ve celebrated SIX birthdays, a gender reveal party, Halloween and Thanksgiving together. Celebrations filled with food, babies, laughter and fellowship have filled their home from the moment they moved in – and Christmas will be no different.
“Christmas Eve is also our anniversary. My mom was born on Christmas day, so Christmas has always been an extra special time for us,” shared homeowner Elaine, who lives in her new home with her husband Randall and their children.
Before the home was rebuilt during the pandemic, it had belonged to Elaine’s mother, Mary A Kalamau. When Mary became sick, Elaine moved in and cared for her for several years before she passed away in 2010.
“Traditionally, we would always spend Christmas here at the house with the whole family and our neighbors, but since my mom passed, we stopped that for a while,” said Elaine. This year, they’re finally able to celebrate Christmas in the home once again. Elaine will share hosting duties with her sister Belinda, who lives a few houses away.
After a Christmas Eve dinner in their new Habitat home, the Kalaluhi’s will migrate down Auntie Belinda’s home for Secret Santa, a yearly tradition for the growing family. And of course – there will be food. Lots of food.
“On Christmas and New Year’s, I always make pork luau and the kids all love it. But this year I’m also making my potato salad. That’s another tradition that we have – we do potluck too, but they love my pork luau.”
For the Kalaluhi’s, it’s not so much about how things have changed since moving into their new Habitat home, but about how some things can stay the same. Just as her mother’s home was a gathering place for family, now Elaine and Randall’s home can keep sharing that gift for generations to come.
This Christmas Eve will mark 39 years of marriage for high school sweethearts Elaine and Randall, and an impressive 52 years together. And their family continues to grow. This month they will gather with four generations of Kalaluhi’s, including 3 children, 10 grandchildren and 8 grandchildren. Plus, Elaine has two more great-grandchildren on the way. Above all, she is grateful for togetherness.
This Christmas, I’m just thankful for my family coming back together.
“I’m thankful to have this new house – my home – and to have my family back under one roof. At our rental, we couldn’t all meet up like this. This Christmas, I’m just thankful for my family coming back together.”
Every holiday is better at home.
This month, thanks to our generous donors and dedicated volunteers, four families on Oahu will spend Christmas in their new Habitat home for the first time. As we reflect on the success of 2022, we also look forward to building even more homes, communities and hope in 2023.
Give the gift of home with a one-time donation to our Annual Fund today. Your gift will go to work here in our community to build and repair homes for neighbors in need.