LIHU’E — “For Thanksgiving, we had a giant turkey, but that was nothing,” said Lavonne Pironti, manager at the Lihue Court Townhomes, while maintenance worker Mark Martinez whizzed by on his utility cart.
On the other side of the housing complex office, Danny Hendrix tended to a pile of white fabric like a mom about to give birth.
That mountain of white soon blossomed into a giant, inflatable snowman, that was companion to an equally giant inflatable Santa that stood guard outside Pironti’s office.
“We go all-out for Christmas,” Pironti said while surveying the short strip that is the entryway to the housing project in Lihu’e.
“We have over 200 children living here, and for me, Christmas is for the children. They love it,” she said while noting that this year, a field of 14 inflatable figures have taken root, and herald the arrival of the holiday season.
“This is our second year. Last year, we had a few, but this
year, we got a few from Wal-Mart, another few from the Big Kmart, and some more from The Home Depot,” Pironti said.
Martinez and Hendrix turned the entrance to the Lihue Court Townhomes into a colorful wonderland that extracts a smile from all who pass through the display.
“Everyone loves it,” Pironti said while watching a car with an elderly couple drive through, pointing out their favorites as they passed by.
“Even the teenagers love it. One night, they were stopping
by several of the figures and taking pictures by them using their cell phones. It’s wonderful,” the manager said excitedly.
At the end of the display, a reindeer and Santa pop out of an inflatable chimney, much to the delight of children returning home from school.
“This is wonderful,” one resident noted as she stopped to chat with Pironti. “Last year, my boyfriend was the Grinch. This year, I don’t know. We stopped by, and I had my photo taken next to the Grinch last year after a rodeo.”
Pironti is excited that the display has ignited the feeling of the holidays from within the residents. She added that they would like to continue adding more figures until the display can make its way all the way around the complex.
Puna Dawson, who emerged from one of the inflatable-framed doorways, was just as excited, her emotions fueled by the smiles that blossom whenever people pass through the displays.
Pironti said the display is not complete yet. She said Martinez and Hendrix are working to string lights on the monkeypod trees that were freshly trimmed in anticipation of their illuminated dressing.
That project should be complete by this weekend, she said, while Martinez added, “This is nothing. You should come when the sun goes down.”
“It’s our own Christmas Lane,” Pironti exclaimed.
- Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or email@example.com