Christmas Celebration … Birth of a Savior

Christmas Celebration … Birth of a Savior

What a year it has been for many of our Maui families, friends and neighbors. Devastation caused by wildfires, losing a loved one, losing a home, financial difficulties, broken relationships and much more. Suffering and uncertainties about the future are too much to bear for our families. Many are grieving and hurting because of these circumstances. These are just a few of the challenges that many of our ‘ohana are facing today. And it appears there is no hope or an end in sight.

In light of the situations and sufferings you were in yesterday and still ongoing today, there is hope and joy awaiting you in the midst of your difficulties. The month of December is a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior—Jesus Christ. Yes, it is Christmas and is more than a Christian holiday. It is more than an occasion to decorate our homes and exchange gifts. It is an opportunity to praise and give thanks for the love, hope and joy found in Christ our Savior and friend.

Let us remember true joy is not found in giving expensive material gifts during this holiday season. The greatest gifts that we can give during the Christmas holiday are genuine love, grace, compassion, patience, kindness, a word of encouragement and a helping hand to those people around us in need of a shoulder to cry on or a hug. What better time than the season of joy to make connection with those we think about a lot, to enjoy together a theater production, a concert of uplifting music, a walk on a favorite beach, a quiet moment in the woods? These special connections give us energy, strength and resilience and sometimes provide the ideal perspective to keep us moving forward.

Another important gift to someone we love or to a stranger is to share a meal, especially with those who may be alone during this holiday season. Loneliness is the hardest challenge to endure, especially during the holidays. We can all make an extra effort to include more folks into our circles, to make extraordinary effort to invite the many who are in a state of sadness, who are missing loved ones or wishing they could visit a special someone who is far away, or going through hard times, and who gave us some comfort and care at some earlier time in our friendship.

Most of all, let us celebrate this season of great joy. It is a time of our God showing His real love for us. It is a time of healing and renewed strength. Let us remember the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of God’s ultimate gift—the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior, who has shown us how to strive to be a light and the salt of the world.

From our family to yours, we wish you all a blessed Merry Christmas and Joyous New Year! May you all experience the amazing love and blessings from our Almighty Father during this holiday season.

Maligayang Pasko Sa Inyong Lahat! Naimbag a Paskua! Mele Kalikimaka!