Attempting Holiday Cheer

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - November 23, 2011
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It’s a good time for Thanksgiving. We’re heading toward the end of the year, and a lot of folks are ready for some cheer. This holiday season is going to be a bit strange for our family, with my son a senior in high school. I feel as if we are all in transition. It’s made me a little grumpy. So have events that have been blaring from TVs, computers and radios. I may have to work hard to get in the mood. So here goes my attempt at some pre-holiday cheer.

Things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving:

* I’m really thankful that I don’t know anyone who would buy a chicken pox-infected lollipop to give to his or her child. Media reports of misguided people selling lollipops contaminated with the chicken pox virus over the Internet, mainly via Facebook, had me Googling to find out if it was true. Alas, it was. That had me shaking my head in disgust and questioning the sanity or at the very least, the common sense of parents who would deliberately try to make their child sick. Doesn’t that qualify as some sort of child abuse? The experts say there’s very little chance your child can get chicken pox by eating said lollipop, but there’s still the risk your child could pick up some other disease or infection from the candy. Who knows where it’s been or who has handled it? Really, people. That’s not only gross, it’s potentially dangerous.

* I’m so thankful the truth is finally being revealed about what happened at Penn State. If the allegations are true that assistant coach Jerry Sandusky raped little boys and others covered it up justice must be done. Unfortunately, those boys have had to live with the abuse and the surrounding silence for years. It hurts so much to think about it. But we have to face it. No one gets off without being affected by this. Not those poor kids. Not the alleged perpetrator. Not the people who knew and apparently did nothing.

Hmmm. This is not working. I am sorry for bumming you out with my glumness. I’m bumming myself out. I see I’m going to have to step away from the news and work harder to achieve a more appropriate holiday mood. So let me try again ...

* I’m thankful APEC is gone and we all survived just fine. While it was here I got stuck in traffic a grand total of one time. Mahalo to every person who broadcast, emailed and tweeted traffic alerts. Was all the angst and anticipatory sweeping away of any perceived blight or controversy worth it? I hope so. But shutting down Iolani Palace for the duration of the conference was heavy-handed and unnecessary.

* I am thankful for every step forward we make toward energy independence.

While progress is slow and fitful, no one can deny people’s attitudes are evolving. Five years ago, who really talked about the need to wean our state off imported oil? Who knew what a CFL or LED was? Who cared about conserving energy? Who really understood the term “renewable energy?” Today, more of us are aware, or becoming aware, of what needs to be done. More of us are asking the right questions. Our children are looking at their future and some are demanding that we, their parents, change the way we do things. We know how important it is to use the sun, the wind, the ocean and biofuels.

Now all we have to do is make it happen.

Whew. That’s better! There is light in the world after all. You just have to pay attention. I’m finally feeling a little tug of the holiday spirit. It’s right here in front of my nose.

* I’m grateful to you and I mean Hawaii people in general because you are still some of the most generous and kind people on earth.

* I’m thankful for my friends. You sustain me in so many ways. As I’ve grown older, I realize I have just a few really intimate friends. You are gold. I treasure you.

* And finally, I am thankful for family my husband’s family, my family and our own little unit of three. How lucky we are to have each other.

OK, I think I’m ready for the holidays now.

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