Laughter, joy, and holiday spirit were shared among families of Headquarters and Service Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Dec. 18 at the Pollock Theater here.
Santa and one of his elves made their way to the Pacific from the North Pole and dropped off gifts for the children and joined in on the fun.
Some children were amazed that Santa called them out personally. Jeannette Powell-Campbell, MarForPac administration chief, explained that one of her son’s friends couldn’t believe Santa knew who he was.
“When we took him home, the first thing he told his mother was that Santa called out his name,” Powell-Campbell said. “So if he ever had a doubt about Santa, it’s all gone now.”
After enjoying a variety of dishes for dinner, guests were treated to dessert, including holiday favorites like pumpkin pie and a holiday cake.
“This was a great chance for everyone to come together and celebrate the season with food and fun,” said Cheryl Roy, MarForPac family readiness officer and the event organizer. “The kids all had a great time, and that was one of our main goals.”
Children had the chance to get their faces painted. Rudolph, Christmas trees and snowflakes were some of the favorites.
Other activities the children got to enjoy included creating ornaments, coloring holiday pictures and singing and dancing with the Honolulu Blend Chorus.
The chorus was one of the first details Roy worked out through connections with one of the members.
They treated everyone to the sounds of traditional holiday songs and asked people to come on stage to participate in singing and dancing “The 12 Days of Christmas.”
Powell-Campbell was invited on stage to dance the hula along to one of the chorus’s songs, which she said was her gift to the commanding officer and executive officer.
“In the Hawaiian culture, when you give a gift, you give something of yourself. I gave the gift of dance,” Powell-Campbell explained. “I have only performed in front of civilians, so to perform in front of Marines was surreal to me. They got to see a different side of the Mrs. Campbell who yells, the former master gunnery sergeant.”
Many people were glad they got the chance to meet the families of the people they work with and see them outside the office.
“There was just enough of everything. The food was great, the music was beautiful and the children had a great time. It was great to see everyone with their families outside of work,” said Powell-Campbell. “Mrs. Roy and her helpers did a great job.”
After more than eight weeks of planning, the holiday celebration turned out to be a fun night for everyone.
“I couldn’t have put together such a great party without the help of my volunteers,” Roy added.