Monday, November 30, 2015         

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Let it glow, let it glow, let it glow

The Yoshidas are a family like many others on Oahu that light up their homes with elaborate displays for the holidays

By Steven Mark


The Yoshidas believe in holiday excess. They also believe in sharing it.

Their 20,000-bulb, blinking-light display with computer-driven musical accompaniment literally leaps off their split-level home at 94-226 Anapau Place in Waikele and into the senses of passers-by.

"We had the lights synched to the music a couple of years ago," said Keith Yoshida, a vice president at Mid Pac Petroleum. "This year one of the new things we added were these arched lights, which have the appearance that the lights are leaping."

The Yoshidas are one of many Oahu families who celebrate the holidays with bright, beautiful light displays. Those listed on Page D8 are inviting the public to come have a look, and some don't even mind if you drop in for a chat.

Yoshida and his son Nevin, 16, do the majority of light hanging, climbing the roof to staple blue lights to the main facade of the home. His wife, Nalani, and daughter Kaylin, 14, work at ground level. Their display also has a train, a snowman and a Nativity scene, among other decorations.

"It really gets us in the Christmas spirit," Keith Yoshida said. "It's a really good feeling to share that with other people, especially the younger people. They get so much joy out of it."

It takes about four to five days to assemble the display. The family starts about a week before Thanksgiving with the intent of having it ready that weekend. Yoshida expects next year's display to be even more complicated, since he is planning to add more of the leaping lights.

Although their utility bill will certainly increase this month, Yoshida said that switching over to LED lights three years ago has kept it to a reasonable level.

Every once in a while, the family joins onlookers outside to look at their display. With the lights blinking in sync with 20 songs that cycle through every night, every time seems like something new.

"We've never really listened to all the songs," Yoshida said. "It's something different."

For a video of the Yoshidas' display, visit


Oh, the places you can go to catch the glow to brighten up your Christmas



» 98-1603 Kaahumanu St.: Christmas comes to life at the Benoza residence where a mechanical Mr. and Mrs. Claus await you, along with trains surrounding a Christmas tree, candy canes and numerous displays and lights.

» 99-149 Kulina St.: This festive home is not only decorated on the outside, but the public is welcome to take a tour inside as well. Neighboring homes also get into the spirit with lighted displays.

» 98-1616 Hoolauae St.: The Matias residence offers a decoration collection of 37 years, including wooden airbrush cutouts of Sesame Street characters, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Care Bears, Barney, Lion King, Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer, Hello Kitty, along with a lighted Nativity scene, toy soldiers, numerous Santas and more. About 10 other homes on the street are also lit up with holiday decor.


East Honolulu

» 1459 Ahuawa Loop (Waialae-Kahala): Check out the lights and unique handcrafted forest of five enchanting Christmas trees all decked out in red and green.

» 1080 Kaumoku St. (Mariner's Ridge): Jeff Jersets, along with his neighbors, light up the street with a display of 12-foot candy canes, 6-foot candles and two life-size nutcrackers that greet you at the front entrance.


Ewa Beach

» 91-6523 Kapolei Parkway: Welcome to the Watanabes' "Computer Animated Christmas Light Show," complete with synchronized music (tune in to 106.5 FM on your car radio), 5:30 to 10 p.m. nightly through New Year's Day. Also, lots of inflatables, a snow machine, a 20-foot Christmas tree and 20,000 lights, thanks to extension cords stretching a mile long.

» 91-1075 Kaunolu St.: The Bautista family proudly shares its environmentally green display of decorations made of 90-percent recycled materials. Visit the colorful and animated "Carnival"-themed spectacle featuring singing and moving characters, a Ferris wheel, swing and more.

» 91-1171 Keoneula Blvd.: 6 to 9 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1, with extended hours on weekends and Christmas Eve. Check out the more than 10,000 lights, strobes, a cosmic color ribbon and more programmed to music flowing from an outdoor speaker (or tune in to 91.7 FM). Also accepting donations for the Toys for Tots Foundation.



» 2331 Booth Road (Pauoa): "Our Gratitude for the Wonders of Christmas" is the theme of the Ing family's annual display featuring tons of lights, Santa Claus, Disney characters and more. Also, have fun looking for Waldo of the popular "Where's Waldo?" book series, and don't forget to visit the wishing well, with donations going to charity.

» 723 Hauoli St. (McCully): The Vares ohana celebrates 20 years of sharing their Christmas spirit with lights and displays featuring a Christmas countdown, gingerbread houses, Santa and Rudolph on a Ferris wheel, a singing snowman, Nativity and manger scenes, a dancing ballerina bear and an antique ornament from the 1950s. Check it out nightly from 6 to 11 p.m. through Jan. 2.

» 2020 Hillcrest St. (Alewa Heights): The Bishos go all out each year with numerous lighted sculptures and displays in the main entranceway, garage and yard.

» 2306 Kuahea St. (Palolo): Check out classic blow molds of a complete Nativity scene, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Frosty the Snowman and more at the festive home of the Chivers.

» 2672 Lowrey Ave. (Manoa): The 30-year tradition continues for the Allen family with a display of more than 50 characters, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Winnie the Pooh and several Santas, two Nativity scenes and a special message asking families to "Give back to the Blood Bank" during this holiday season. Enjoy the lights nightly from 6 to 9 p.m.

» 1553 Miller St. (Punchbowl): More than 50 lighted decorations await you at the home of Lindy Franca and family, which also has a Nativity scene, a 5-foot wreath, several Santas and snowmen, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Winnie the Pooh (and Tigger, too).

» Chaminade University, 3140 Waialae Ave. (Kaimuki): Drive through the campus and check out the holiday lights and decorations, especially those fronting Clarence T.C. Ching Hall and Henry Hall.

» 1248 Wilhelmina Rise (Kaimuki): Visit the home of the Akau, Kauffman and Andrade families for a display featuring Santa and Rudolph, various Disney characters, a Nativity scene, candy canes, stockings, inflatables and lots of lights.



» 1170 Akumu St.: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 6 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. It's that time of the year for members of the Brede family, who continue their tradition of sharing more than 10,000 colorful lights synchronized to Christmas music and inflatables along with surprises and some new additions.

» 107 Kailuana Loop: Something new is added to the Larsons' annual "Fantasy Land" display each year, and "Dad is waiting for the fuse box to burst." Bring the keiki for candy canes and picture taking.

» 255 Kuupua St.: The Shire family's lighted display, inspired by Disneyland's "It's a Small World," exudes the theme of world peace and features wooden figures of multicultural children and festive lights with seasonal music from outdoor speakers.



» 45-1116 Grote Road: The Maxilom residence features a Ferris wheel, gingerbread house, snowman, lighted Mickey Mouse, Charlie Brown globe, two homemade trains and more.

» 47-553 Hui Iwa St. (Temple Valley): To go along with an extravagant array of lighted decorations surrounding their home, Pat and Alvin Morimoto offer this message: "Sharing our lights for the children. Happy holidays!"

» 45-229 Nakuluai St.: Check out the numerous handcrafted wood figures of Disney and Pixar characters from "Monsters Inc." and "Lilo & Stitch," as well as Superman, Dora the Explorer, Harry Potter, Precious Moments and more, courtesy of the Vause family.

» 45-365 Namoku St.: This street, located behind Castle High School, is lit up and highly decorated each year, but the home of Lois and Kimo Lake stands out with a large Santa perched on the rooftop, dancing deer and dolphin, light garlands, 8-foot tin soldiers, decorated glass balls along the eaves, cascading bubbles, Snoopy on a boat and a 9-foot bear in the carport next to an impressive Christmas-themed canoe.

» 46-201 Ohala St.: You can't miss the Rodrigues' home, all decked out with 30 window light-up decorations, along with a Nativity scene, toy soldiers, Rudolph and numerous characters from Disney, Looney Tunes and more, and 10 inflatables including Santas on a surfboard and in an airplane, a penguin and igloo, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang.



» 87-1029-A Hakimo Road: The Herodias family continues its traditional Christmas feast of more than 200 lighted figures, including Charlie Brown, Disney, gingerbread, a tropical garden and Nativity scenes, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 27.


Pearl City

» 98-1297 Hoohuali Place: "Winter Creatures Visit for Christmas" is this year's theme for Francis and Estrella Aki, who have been sharing their holiday spirit for 34 years, 6 to 10 p.m. nightly through New Year's Day. "Visitors" include Thomas the Tank Engine Train, Lilo and Stitch, the Little Mermaid and Flounder, Dora the Explorer and her pal Boots, the Kalikimaka Hawaiian Orchestra menehune band and more.



» 94-226 Anapau Place: Treat yourself to the Yoshida family's "dazzling synchronized light show" with more than 20,000 lights flashing and dancing to 20 Christmas songs, from 6 to 10 p.m. nightly. Among the decorations are a Nativity scene, snowman, Santa in a train, reindeer, presents and a wintery scene with "dripping icicles, leaping lights and snowflakes." A snippet is available for viewing online at

» Hopoe Place: In the past, up to three dozen homes on this street have been decorated with lights and Christmas decorations, so expect the same (or better!) this season.

» 94-313 Kiokio Place: From 7 to 10 p.m. nightly, enjoy the "Christmas Past & Present" display at the Domingo residence, which is illuminated by more than 10,000 lights and features cartoon characters from Disney and Looney Tunes, Hello Kitty and Friends, Smurfs, Bratz, The Incredibles, Powerpuff Girls, Power Rangers, Shrek and more.


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