A blog about life, food and photography.

The Aloha (I mean – Christmas) Spirit.

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Wait, Hawaii?! Since when did I manage to go to Hawaii behind your backs, you ask? This was a trip Chris and I actually took last December, a couple weeks before Christmas. I guess I can call it our ‘€˜One year anniversary since the first time we went to Hawaii for our second honeymoon after Croatia’€™. Confused? Me too.

I was asked to write a post after my week-long dry spell. I guess you could say I’€™ve been overwhelmed since moving to San Diego. Though overwhelmed might be an understatement. And I made excuses for why I haven’€™t written anything. Honestly, there’€™s no good excuse for not writing: I don’€™t have enough pictures, I don’€™t have good lighting in my kitchen, I don’€™t have employment, I need to do laundry for the 17th time, I need to go Christmas shopping, this blog has made me chubby and self-conscious.

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When most of you picture Christmas, you probably don’€™t picture Hawaii. But I do. I feel like the aloha spirit is very much like the Christmas spirit.

In the Hawaiian language, aloha stands for much more than hello or goodbye or love. Its deeper meaning is the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha) in the present (alo)

When I picture Christmas on the ‘€˜mainland’€™, New York especially, I do picture snowy neighborhoods decorated with lights, but I also picture rude people hustling and bustling through department stores fighting over toys and clothes, complaining about what to get for each other, complaining about not getting the gifts they wanted, and long lines in the return area because they just didn’€™t like what they got.

As I talked to Chris about Christmas shopping, I asked him why we couldn’€™t really put some thought into buying gifts for people this year. You know, things we think the other person will like.

I know it’€™s a very foreign concept. I feel we all look for gifts in fear that the receiver would be offended, insulted, hurt, or angry that it’€™s not what they wanted. We shop in fear. Or, at least I do. Sometimes people don’€™t know what they’€™d like as a gift. And they could be pleasantly surprised if you put some effort into finding something you think they’d appreciate.

“So, you’€™re gonna tell people what they should like?”€ he asked.

“Yes. Yes I am.”€ I replied.

It’s the thought that counts, right?

I have a feeling we’€™re all exchanging gift cards this year. Which, most would say is practical, useful and no one returns them. But are we flying across the country to exchange gift cards?!

One year in college, I developed and framed my own photographs that I thought people would like, and gave them out as gifts. I thought it was a great idea. Why can’€™t we do stuff like that anymore? Sometimes the value of something isn’t in the cost. Not that I think my photos are worthless. Actually they are…you know what…I’€™m just going to do it this year. It’s like when you were little and you gave your mom a card with macaroni and glitter glued all over it, and she would appreciate it. I’€™m giving everyone macaroni and glitter.

And now that I’€™m a grown-up, I can afford lots of macaroni, and lots of glitter. And you better appreciate it, damnit.

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