Kwento Kwentuhan

Gift Giving During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Liza A Pierce of “A Maui Blog”

Christmas is just around the corner. As the feature story in this month’s Fil-Am Voice explores how COVID-19 changes how we celebrate our holidays, particularly on how we gather, I thought it is also worth talking story about the changes in gift giving during this season.

Here are a few reminders and suggestion:

1. Order early if you are buying gifts online. To avoid crowds and the possibility of contracting the COVID-19 virus, many people will shop online. We who live on Maui already know it takes time for products we order online to arrive on Maui. During this holiday season, however, we need to order even earlier than usual. Many online stores have holiday sales going on right now. No need to wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to shop. The Made in Maui County Festival went virtual this year on November 7 and 8. That is just one example. Aside from avoiding delays in delivery, there are also possibilities of selling out fast. What you see in an online store today might not be available tomorrow or maybe the size you want might be sold out. Don’t wait, order now.

2. Buy Local. I understand there might be products not available locally. However, I highly suggest—actually I urge you—to buy locally to help Maui’s local entrepreneurs. As we all know, Maui’s businesses suffered due to the major decline of tourism industry because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Buying local will be a tremendous help to our economy.

Basic necessities like food made from your own kitchen make excellent gifts. Make sure your gourmet-game is tight, though …
Photo: Lawrence Pascua

3. Gifting food, gift cards and necessities. With the high rate of unemployment, many are lacking and don’t even have enough money to buy the basic needs such as food and medicine. A gift card they can use to buy groceries or go eat out in a restaurant or order to go, will all be appreciated. Maybe a gift card to Longs so they can spend it on medicine or health supplements. Maybe a gift basket filled with groceries or fresh produce, fresh fruits and veggies from the local farmers would be welcome.

4. Building skills and improving talents. Another gift which will keep on giving is paying for classes building skills and improving talents: art class, cooking class, learn to play golf, to sew, to dance, to play ‘ukulele, guitar, piano and so on. Can you think of something your loved ones want to learn but just don’t have the time to learn and don’t have the money to enroll in a class? Maybe this season is the time to give them that gift. Maybe the new skill will be instrumental to someone getting a new better paying job or starting a business.

5. Home made gifts. Some of us might not even have a budget to buy a gift this season. How about making them? I can think of many homemade goodies I would love to receive, like pan de sal, leche flan, etc. If you have the skills to cook and have some ingredients at home, giving baked goods or dishes is a great idea! Maybe you are not a baker but great at sewing, then sew something and give as gifts. As a father, maybe you can make a desk, a doll house or a swing.

Preparing for Christmas gift giving in 2020.

6. Service with love. Okay, maybe you don’t even have ingredients to bake nor materials to sew … but you have the skills and time. Babysitting for a single mom; cleaning a house of a senior friend; driving someone to a place they want to visit like Haleakalā or ‘Īao Valley. How about fixing a car or plumbing? You can be creative in giving the gift of time and service.

7. Gift of time and encouragement. This COVID-19 pandemic left many feeling lonely. Sometimes all a person needs is someone to be with them and talk to them and encourage them. This is a precious gift. Think of someone you can give this gift to this season. And if you can’t go in person, maybe a phone call, FaceTime, or write a letter or send a card.

I understand 2020 is a hard year for us. But don’t let it deter us from expressing our love to others through gift giving. And for an extra dose of love, if you are able, why not give to some local charities as well? Maui Food Bank, Feed My Sheep, #BayanihanFoodDistribution and Habitat For Humanity are some examples and there are more.

As I am thinking of a line to close this month’s edition of Kwento-Kwentuhan, the line on that famous Christmas song comes to mind … Give love on Christmas Day.

Liza Pierce of A Maui Blog is an Interactive Media Strategist in Hawai‘i. She started blogging in 2006 and she loves talking story online and spreading Aloha around the world. She’s been living on Maui since 1994 and considers Maui her home. A wife, a mother, a friend … and so much more. She loves Jesus; Maui Sunsets Catcher; Crazy About Rainbow; End Alzheimer’s Advocate. Her life is full and exciting here on the island of Maui. Liza is currently the Interactive Media Strategist with Wailea Realty Corp.