It's that time of year when I start to get excited about all the Holiday cartoon shows and especially 24 hours straight of a Christmas Story. My memories of the Holidays growing up in Colorado include decorating our tree, putting up lights, counting the number of presents I got, playing in snow drifts and especially being with family. As I've gotten older and been away from home longer the aspect of the Holidays that I cherish the most is being able to spend time with my family when everybody has a few days off to relax and enjoy each other's company. I know that for some the Holidays can be an anxious time worrying about simply putting food on the table or caring for the health of loved ones. This will be the first year that I will not be able to spend the Holidays with my family. That's why my whole family has adopted the "Simplify the Holidays" campaign.
Don't get me wrong I love getting gifts but this year we've decided to share the spirit of the Holidays by donating to nonprofit organizations that mean something to each of us. In a small way this will bring us together and share our gifts in a way that will have meaning long after the Holidays are over.
We have a large extended family that for the most part will be picking a secret Santa to give a gift to. For me this alleviates some of the frustration of beating the crowds while still sharing a modest gift with loved ones and reducing all the paper that we end up throwing away. I am going to do my best to find gifts that reflect and support Hawaii artists and vendors. I've also decided to send Holiday wishes through email.
We aren't expecting to change the world during the Holidays but we are trying to celebrate the spirit of being together. No matter how you choose to celebrate I hope you have a safe and Happy Holidays.
Brent Dillabaugh is a board member of Kanu Hawaii. He grew up in Colorado and was formerly the Deputy Director of the Hawaii Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development. He recently joined the Honolulu Fire Department.