Left to right, top to bottom: Jenny Hong has magic inside her, and says you have magic in you, too. Mari Skudlarick wants to share the holiday with family and friends, even those far away. Naomi Ho says real Christmas magic is in the heart, not in the decorations and lights. Arik Look knows Christmas is really about giving, and that we should reach out to help others.
Fortunately, four Honolulu youngsters have the real meaning of Christmas straight in their heads and hearts, and they shared their wisdom in poems that won the "Magic of Christmas" poetry contest sponsored by the Hyatt Regency Waikiki and the shops within the hotel.
Jenny Hong of Lunalilo School and Mary Skudlarick of Wilson School took first place in the kindergarten- through third-grade and fourth- through sixth-grade categories, respectively. Second place winners were Liliuokalani School third-grader Naomi Ho and Maemae School fifth-grader Arik Look.
The contest was open to Honolulu District Elementary Schools. Principals of the participating schools forwarded their schools' four best poems to the hotel, where a panel of hotel staffers and a representative of the state Department of Education chose the winners.
All 60 of the finalists in the contest were invited to read their poems at a celebration and awards program held Saturday in the hotel's Great Hall Atrium.
While we don't want to emphasize material goods, the winners did receive some pretty nifty prizes. The four winners each received a $50 Borders Books & Music gift certificate, a $50 Toys "R" Us gift certificate and a $200 dining credit at the Hyatt. In addition, first place winners will be able to treat themselves and their families to a two-night stay at the hotel.
Here are the winning poems about Christmas:
The magic of Christmas is a song to sing
The magic of Christmas is a bell to ring
The magic of Christmas is a reindeer that flies
The magic of Christmas is yummy pies
The magic of Christmas is happy feelings
The magic of Christmas is healing
The magic of Christmas is Santa over the sea
The magic of Christmas is inside of me
The magic of Christmas is a wish coming true
The magic of Christmas is inside you too
By Jenny Hong
Lunalilo School, Grade 3
Santa Claus, Santa Claus, this is what I say,
For a magical Christmas, grant me a day.
When my family and friends from far and near,
Can share happy moments with me right here.
Daddy, Aunty Nana, Uncle John from afar,
And Keoki Cat returning on a bright star.
Give Grandma Morine strength and a smile,
Let Grandma Walton stay on Earth for a while.
Santa, I hope all people have a day of feast,
Finally, I wish the world a day of peace.
By Mari Skudlarick
Wilson School, Grade 5
Christmas is bright
Angels are white
Children are jumping for joy
Because they know Santa will bring them a toy
Christmas trees, ornaments and lights
Are always beautiful and special sights
All the stores in town are aglow
As people buy presents for those they know
But when you look past the glitter and spark
You'll find the magic of Christmas is in your heart
By Naomi Ho
Liliuokalani School, Grade 3
Christmas encourages the magic of reaching out,
Helping old and needy without a doubt
From your heart you end up giving,
To allow another human peaceful living
Caring and sharing should be done all year,
It allows the less fortunate nothing to fear
Most of these people want everlasting peace,
May our concern and help never cease.
Peace is symbolized by a white dove,
The magic of Christmas is sharing your love.
By Arik Look
Maemae School, Grade 5