Over a lifetime we are all fortunate enough to creatively absorb the energy and love of those around us. What we sometimes aren’t aware of are the memories that will be established for a lifetime thereafter. In 2018 more than any other year, I have been fortunate to realize how important these ideals and “happy places” are to me. My spirit is still young and these memories from life shape the passion and compassion that I share with others.

The holiday season is one of those special times during the year when my fondest of times are remembered. I am so blessed to have a creative and loving family throughout my life. It even got better when I married and added a new family into my life. One of the greatest similarities in our families is the matriarchs worked so hard to create wonderful memories for their children. What a gift from mothers to their sons and daughters. Memories truly are the gifts that keep on giving.

Forty-five years into this life of mine, I survive and celebrate the most vivid Christmas memories. Christmas Eve was surrounded with family and I have the fondest thoughts of getting dressed up for midnight mass. I can still smell the pine and feel the cold crisp night air as we would rush across the street and arrive at the boldly colored red doors. I have memories of so many dinners with my many cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents. There were so many of us at my grandparent’s home that we would have three different shifts at the dining table. Grandma always made certain the kids ate first, followed by the men and finally all the ladies would complete the dining cycle (and the dishes). Maybe, it wasn’t the most politically correcting seating arrangement however to my grandma it was always most important that everyone had a place at her table and food on their plate. Years later my mom would share with me that there were many days growing up in a family with six kids that grandma would opt not to eat as she wanted my mom and her siblings to have enough.

As an only child I was fortunate to have pretty amazing Christmas gifts that included things like designer trinkets (hidden in large boxes with bricks), a massive stuffed ram and always tons of clothes. Mother would always receive a new wool suit with hosiery and for dad there was stinky Old Spice and a replenishment of underwear. It really wasn’t about the gifts (however, I loved GG) it was the time we spent as a family wrapping, laughing and opening the gifts. There were cameras with tripods and VHS recorders that would capture memories. Today, I have very few of these pictures and none of the videos. What I do have is better. I have my memories that are uninterrupted by a camera phone, posts to social media or any other techno bologna. Pure holiday memories of growing up.

Time quickly ushers in many new generations of youth. As technology evolves it is imperative this holiday to make memories with your friends and families. Put down the smart phones and GoPro this holiday. Forget social media for a day and live in the moment. Make certain everyone around you smells the scents, hears the crackling of the fire and observes all around. You are destined to the memory maker and it’s going to feel damn good. Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka to you and your ohana.

David Brown
Mulberry Seed Design