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December 23, 2006


Erin P

What a fascinating insight into Hawaiian family life, culture, and education, Meghan, and how they are all intertwined in this movement!

It reminds me of cultivating & keeping a family, pro-family perspective during Christmas (think of the Holy Family as an example). I enjoy supporting the Sisters of Life (www.sistersoflife.org) who help pregnant mothers.

Anyone know of good organizations that promote responsible fatherhood and family life?

I think the best kind of donation at Christmastime is one of self-giving in everyday small but conscious ways - extra time, patience, and going out of our way for strangers and those people we love. We give away our "busy-ness" even as we're opening our wallets.

Alexandra Foley

Meghan, A beautiful post and I can't tell you how moved I am by your mother's actions! I am 35 and the little child in me still has a hard time realizing that Christmas is NOT ABOUT THE PRESENTS!!

Two of your themes, family immersion learning and charity, have been on my mind lately as I ponder how to help my kids to become more giving. Clearly children need to be taught how to give in addition to seeing their parents give -- and doing it together is so much more fun! But I find that nowadays, when the majority of our giving is just cutting a check, the message seems to be lost on my wee ones. So I am very interested in other people's causes that they are giving to AND how do you get children to do the same.

For us, I have told the kids that they need to part with a few of their toys in preparation for Chrstmas (notice that this is both spiritual and practical since they need to make room for more TOYS!). But I was met with some pretty icy stares, if not full rebellion. Perhaps I should have waited until after Christmas when they are staring their new stuff in the face and the old stuff doesn't hold the same allure.

To answer your specific question, Meghan, we are giving to a Womens Abuse center that is here in town. They have a second hand shop where all the proceeds go to shelter's for women and children.

So, please, anyone, how can I get my kids to be more charitable!?!

Liz Neville

Merry Christmas to all.
Meghan, thanks for your post, it is a wonderful reminder. My thoughts have mostly been with veterans, current and past, whole and wounded, and that's where my money and Christmas cheer have mostly gone this year.
Alexandra-- I can't remember how old your children are, but I'll bet it's just a matter of time before your and your husband's example hits home and they start to imitate your actions. We frequently discuss how the wealth and comfort of our country today (in general, of course, there are always exceptions) are extraordinary in terms of what most of the world, through most of history, has experienced. Some of the poor in America today live better than barons of years ago. Still, it's hard to make it real to them-- we all absorb our own experiences as "universal". It was very touching to Kevin and me last week when our son (10 yrs.) brought his own money from home for the collection at church, on his own volition. And from imitating actions, I believe they'll proceed to understanding those actions.
Enjoy the day and the season to all my fellow writers and our visitors!

George Carty

"Mele Kalikimaka"? Is that just the English "Merry Christmas" shoehorned into the 12-letter Hawaiian alphabet?

Alexandra Foley

Until a few years ago, I thought "Mele Kalikimaka" was just the title to a Bing Crosby song! But I suppose the significance we should take away is that Christmas is universal -- the Word becoming Flesh is a fact for all people in all places.

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