Gifts That Keep on Giving
Liza A Pierce of “A Maui Blog”
Remember the song Give Love On Christmas Day by The Jackson 5? If you are the same age as I am or older, I am sure you know that song. If you are younger and not familiar with it, go ahead and google it. It is a wonderful song that talks about giving love on Christmas, as its title says. That song got me thinking of ways we can express love on Christmas and even throughout the years. Let’s talk story about some of them:
1. The gift of basic needs – During the holidays, many of us think about the holiday food—the ham, the pies, the fancy drinks and all that. There are, however, many in our community who simply need basic food each day. As we shop for our Holiday Christmas meal, let us think of ways we can also give to those who need the basic necessities of life. We can give food directly to people we know who are in need or we can give to a non-profit organization focused on this such as Maui Food Bank, Feed My Sheep, Maui Rescue Mission and Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Shelter.
2. The gift of sustainability – This is somewhat related to the first gift we mentioned but it goes further. This is about supporting the people and organizations whose focus is sustainability. It is giving gifts to people and organizations whose mission is to protect our environment and community. For example, our local farmers. Let us support them by buying fresh produce from the local farmers’ market. This week, I had the opportunity to visit and learn about fish pond restoration being done by the non-profit organization Mālama Hula. It was such an eye-opening experience about the future of fisheries. It was a great time of learning and volunteering.
3. The gift of education, legacy and a brighter future – As I think about this, one great example came to my mind, who exemplifies this kind of giving is the Cabebe family. Agrifina “Aggie” Cabebe (1928-2020) was a remarkable trailblazer in Maui’s Filipino community. She was known as the “Mother of Filipino Folk Dance on Maui” and “The General” and she served in many capacities, including the first president of Binhi at Ani in 1985. Maui will always be indebted to her for her pioneer efforts in community building and preserving the Filipino culture. To sustain her memory for generations, the Cabebe family and Binhi at Ani created the Agrifina Cabebe / Binhi at Ani Scholarship, funded in part by donations and an annual event in her honor. The event happened on December 14, 2022, however, donations for the Scholarship are still being accepted. For more information, please contact the Event Chairperson, Alfredo Evangelista at (808) 242-8100 or AlfredoGEvangelista@gmail.com.
4. The gift of joy – Yes, needy families need food and shelter but we can go above and beyond. Many families with unfortunate circumstances have young children. Christmas time is a fun time for kids to receive fun gifts like toys, new dresses and shoes and more but their families do not have the means to give them such gifts. This is where projects of non-profit organizations come in, like the Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child Christmas Shoe Box, and the Angel Tree project by Prison Fellowship. The Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child collects shoebox gifts—filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—and delivers them to children in need around the world to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way. Angel Tree Christmas gives incarcerated parents a way to provide a Christmas gift and a personal message, delivered by caring, local volunteers, as a tangible. The ultimate goal of the Angel Tree program is to get new toys and clothing into the hands of needy children during the holiday season. Imagine the joy these less fortunate children will feel as they receive their gifts this Christmas!
5. The gift of time and encouragement – Do you live far away from your senior parents? A visit to them or a phone call would mean the world to them! Do you know someone who is in the hospital during the holidays? A hospital visit will bring some cheer! It is not just material things we can give during the holidays. Time and encouragement are needed more than ever. Think of creative ways on how you can spend time with your loved one this season. Maybe a special date with your spouse or kids is needed during this hectic season. Maybe a friend just got laid off from work and needs encouragement. How about a friend who just got divorced, had a bad break-up or someone who is grieving the loss of their child? The list goes on and on. There are plenty of opportunities to give encouragement by spending time with the ones we love and care for.
In closing, I would like to share with you this quote about giving:
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchhill
Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon!
Liza Pierce of A Maui Blog is an Interactive Media enthusiast. 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 Digital Media Specialist with Hawai‘i Life Real Estate Brokers. She is the author of the book Maui 2021 and Beyond..