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The Reason For The Season
by Jessalyn Lau

The holiday season always gave me a sense of awe and wonder. For me, the holidays start on Thanksgiving. Though it’s usually one of the busiest times of the year, I feel that things tend to slow down, people tend to smile more, and the air – something in the air just seems magical. Maybe it’s the aftereffects of watching too many Hallmark Christmas movies, but the holiday season is one that I especially enjoy and look forward to.

This year, my holiday celebrations are looking very different. Like many of you reading this, we have had to have smaller family gatherings, skip the early morning Black Friday shopping tradition, and find creative ways to connect with our loved ones and celebrate. Though our holidays may be different this year, I still feel the same Christmas joy, hope, and wonder in the air.
I asked Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience Practice Manager Christalyn what her holidays will look like this year and what are some of her holiday favorites that she looks forward to?
Christalyn was excited to help me with this month’s blog. She said that Christmas is her favorite and that she’s one of ‘those people’ who prepares for Christmas all year long. She is a Starbucks pumpkin spice cold brew fanatic, so much so that she dressed up as her favorite holiday drink during our Spirit Week! This is also her 4 th year hosting the annual Christmas Eve Southern Throw Down Dinner with their immediate family. Her husband is from Texas, so she enjoys making special dishes that remind him of his hometown – one being a passed down secret recipe for home-made mac and cheese which has 2.5 pounds of cheese!
But the true Christmas spirit that Christalyn shares lies in what she believes is the true reason for the season.
Christmas reminds her of the true reason why we have so much joy to celebrate during this season –the celebration of the birth of Christ. “With December at the end of the year, I love to use this month to reflect on the last 11 months. In my time of reflection, my heart is filled with so much hope! Living with hope reminds me of reasons to be grateful and gratitude is the reason why we choose to give.”

“We are like a moving stream or body of water. As we receive fresh blessings, we must have an outlet in which we are an agent of being a blessing to others."

The phrase, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’, is one that Christalyn genuinely embraces. “Giving begins with the heart. Through the years as I’ve gained a deeper perspective on life and have learned and grown from personal trials and challenges, I’ve come to the genuine realization that I have more than I need. Therefore, to give should be a natural overflow of my heart. I have found so much joy in giving because I know that I have received much from my Heavenly Father.”
HPN Healthcare Administrator Michelle Liow shared that “we are like a moving stream or body of water. As we receive fresh blessings, we must have an outlet in which we are an agent of being a blessing to others. Giving produces life. We have committed to allowing the blessing that we receive to flow through us to others.” ​
This year, HPN has focused our efforts of giving during the Christmas season to two organizations that are near and dear to our hearts which are
Operation Christmas Child (Samaritans Purse) and HPN Angel Tree (The Shelter).

Their mission is to bring HOPE to those in need. With G.I.V.E as our mission and generosity as our culture, our HPN Ohana has rallied together with so much joy to bless others!

Check out https://www.theshelter.org/ and https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/ to find out how you can support The Shelter and the Samaritans Purse.

We asked HPN employees to answer a quick holiday survey.
Check out what they had to say!

QUESTIONS
What do you look forward to during the holiday season?
What family tradition(s) do you enjoy?
Why is giving important?
Why did you decide to participate in the HPN Angel Tree?

What do you look forward to during the holiday season?

  • Winter surfing waves.
  • Christmas decorations and Christmas carols.
  • The festivities and having the opportunity to unwind with the extended family.
  • Hot chocolate Latte’s with whipped cream.
  • Looking forward to resting.

What family tradition(s) do you enjoy?

  • Dim Sum on Christmas day!
  • Decorating my Christmas tree and going to Christmas service.
  • Pies! Last year, we made our own apple pie but this year, we are outsourcing with the Hawaiian Pie Company.
  • Growing up, Christmas eve we would always get to open one gift. They were always pajamas but still something to look forward to!
  • Family traditions include eggnog, visiting friends and neighbors (that may be on hold this year), putting up lights all around the house

Why is giving important?

  • It is why God gives to us so we can be a conduit of blessing for others.
  • We are so blessed with everything we have and around us. Hence it is onus on our part to give back. I believe it is better to serve than to be served, same way for giving.
  • It is always better to give than to receive! Your life will feel fuller and more purposeful. The holidays are a chance to bring a smile to someone else’s face.
  • Giving is an important function in my life! I truly believe that I personally have been given so much in life that I want to pay it forward in hopes that they in turn will eventually find themselves in a place where they can give as well. I believe that the more you give there is a supernatural experience of receiving back. Like a flowing river, if there is a conduit coming in and out the water never gets stale and is always refreshed. It says in the bible that He who refreshes others will he himself be refreshed. So, in the spirit of giving…. I say… give and it will be given unto you.
  • Giving is important to help remind people who don’t have anyone to care of them that there are people out there that do care.

Why did you decide to participate in the HPN Angel Tree?

  • It is why HPN exists!!
  • I love getting gifts for people and it is a joy to bless someone you don’t really know as well. Furthermore, our team is giving together as a team to a family. This season is all about coming together and think about others!
  • Angle Tree is a special project – I know that there are times in life when someone may need a hand up and not a handout. The Shelter project is one of those organizations that does just that! They equip single mothers with life skills and help put them on their feet to experience a better life.
  • I have been so blessed and thankful this year for so many things. Giving to those who need it the most is what matters the most.
  • I want people who do not have much or don’t have people that can help them to feel special on a day were other families are getting together and giving each other gifts.

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