Let me tell you what happened to me today. It is a different kind of Christmas. It's rural, small town community style.
I headed down to town (today is market day) first thing today in order to buy several dozen ears of Hesker's special sweet corn. Early, because that corn often sells out fast and I had promised to bring three dozen ears with me to the Odd Ducks potluck dinner. A task that should have taken me 35 minutes from the time I left my house to the time I got back took me 3 hours, and it could have been more if I had opted to sit around to talk story. Everybody was in a talkative mood today, Christmas cheer and all that.
Everywhere I walked I was being greeted with holiday well wishes, hugs, and alohas. But more, I had the opportunity to exchange Christmas presents with a number of people. Let me list some of the presents I received to illustrate our community. Note that none were store bought.......
.....a macnut pie
.....two bags of cookies
.....a loaf of taro bread
.....a loaf of sweet bread
.....a pan of dinner rolls
.....a jar of pesto
.....a jar of pickled mango
.....a jar of lilokoi jelly
.....a baggie of dried coconut
.....a fresh pineapple
.....a bunch of bananas
.....a bag of macnuts
.....a large pumpkin
.....a jumbo papaya
.....2 large avocados
.....a handmade bamboo wind chime
.....a ceramic wall ornament
.....a hot plate, the type to set a hot dish on
.....a cutting board
.....a baggie of sandlewood sawdust
.....6 purple lilokoi
.....4 white pipinola
.....a hand decorated tea towel
.....a bouquet of proteas (flowers)
Everything was either homemade, handmade, or grown at the home.
Really neat! Cool! They are great gifts from the heart. Far more precious and meaningful than something bought at a store or ordered on the internet. This is the kind of gift giving that really has meaning to me. Yeah, my Eastcoast friends might say it's hokey, but it's the best as far as I'm concerned.
When I got home there were more items sitting by my gate. I figured out where some had come from, but others are yet a mystery.
.....a box of lilokoi
.....a plate of fudge
.....a milk jug loaded with worms in dirt
.....two feed bags of assorted wood chunks
.....a bag full of bromeliad keikis
.....a bowl made from coconut fronds
.....a home cut CD of the giver's music
I'm so fortunate to be part of a rural community. It's taken time to develop this network. It didn't happen overnight. But I'm happy that it happened.