A Story of Helping Others and the Lessons Gained

After checking out the Huntington Holiday Train Exhibit at the Main Library, CBUS Dads blogger Steve Swift and his family witnessed something that proved to be a valuable lesson to his children.

I recently took the Friday before New Year’s Day off of work to spend time with my wife and kids. We spent several hours that morning at the Main Library in Downtown Columbus, mainly in the kids area searching for and reading various kids books, drawing and taking part in a bunch of arts and crafts activities and checking out the last day of the wonderful Huntington Holiday Train exhibit. Needless to say, the downtown library is a great place to spend quality time with the kids. On this particular day, our Congresswoman Joyce Beatty was being sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives in a ceremony on the second floor and there were a lot of people in the building. The mood around the library was filled with excitement, and everyone seemed really happy and cheerful.

When it became time to leave, we left through the front of the building onto Grant Street. As we were walking to our car on State Street, we noticed an elderly gentleman with a cane struggling to walk along the sidewalk. As I was thinking about helping him, a young lady came from across the street to assist him. At this point we were within a few feet of this interaction and overheard the lady sincerely attempting to escort the elderly gentleman to his destination at the nearby Grant Medical Center. The gentleman politely refused her assistance but accepted her offer to walk along and talk with him until he got to the Center.

When we got to the car I asked my eight-year-old son his thoughts about what the lady was doing. He knew exactly what had happened in that the lady was being nice and wanted to help the “old man”. We discussed how it is not only the right thing to do, helping others when we can, but it also has effects that go far beyond the action of simply helping people. We talked about how all of those people: the elderly gentleman, the young lady, the witnesses, and even us, will carry on more of an awareness of kindness and helpfulness that will transcend to other people we interact with – and that awareness will evolve into action which will help make our community even better.

While having this discussion and stopped at a red light on Spring Street, we then witnessed with the car in front of us a professionally dressed gentleman get out of his car and picked up a few large pieces of car debris from the road and placed them on the sidewalk near a trash can. I explained to my sons that the nice man was removing the debris from the road so that no other motorist would get hurt or damage their own car.

Our family was on cloud nine after this series of events and we talked about them more over lunch. It was a very positive experience to help close out the year, and I’m really thankful that the very fine people of central Ohio demonstrated this type of behavior for my family to witness.

By Steve Swift, Contributor

CBUS Dads’ Holidays Activities and Traditions

CBUS Dads blogger Mike Liddy checked out the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival with his kids

We’re in the home stretch before the holidays. You may be off work, and the kids may be home from school. Regardless, you may also be looking for some activities that don’t include going to the mall to best maximize this special time of the year.

We polled our CBUS Dads for some of their holiday traditions and go-to activities that may be a little less mainstream than the ones that are typically top of mind:

The Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is a unique holiday experience. The Ohio Expo Center & State Fairgrounds are decked out with almost 40 displays of traditional (and some non-traditional) Chinese lantern displays all lit up. There are tons of fun things for the kids: a Finding Nemo display, a Christmas display, huge dragons, and tons of pandas. But, the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival also has flowers, fruits and a long walk through the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Don’t miss the performances, the shopping and the food either. The paths can be a little difficult to navigate with a stroller, but they’ve placed hard plastic matting over the grassy areas to make it a little easier to traverse. The Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival goes until January 2, so there’s plenty of time to experience it, even if you can’t squeeze it in before the big one.
-Mike Liddy, Contributor


The older I get, the more I can relate to Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation. It’s easy to get caught up in the holidays, putting a ton of pressure on ourselves to make the holidays super special for our kids. I can’t be the only that’s been here, right? Each year, Erika and I dig for the holiday event that our kids will remember forever. However, there’s one simple tradition that we look forward to every year. On Christmas Eve morning, we go out for breakfast, just the four of us. In the midst of rushing and endless family gatherings, there’s something awesome about just having a simple breakfast together. The location is flexible, but the last two years (and probably this year) we hit up DK Diner in Grandview. The diner atmosphere allows for sweatpants and they always have fresh donuts. Sure, the big Christmas events are awesome, but I encourage you to find a few simple Christmas traditions as well.
-Billy Fischer, Contributor

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Every year, the Farkas family takes an afternoon to make Christmas cookies. I’ve done this for 40 years; the only exception was when I was two months old, and I think that seems like a fair excuse. Making cookie with the kids is pure chaos. Aprons don’t help. Eggs end up broken in wrong places. Often, the weight of the frosting on top of the cookie far eclipses the weight of the actual cookie. The end product won’t end up on the Food Network, but I appreciate it more than any Bobby Flay product.
-Dan Farkas, Contributor

My family and I are reserving December 23 for a Christmas day spent downtown. Every year we try to stroll through State Auto’s Christmas Corner that includes a historic life-sized Nativity display. We are also going to stop by the brand spanking new Main Library for the Huntington Holiday Train, which we’ve never checked out before. Both activities should captivate our energetic two-year-old. From there, we’ll grab a bite, aiming for somewhere with that warm, hearty fare that seems appropriate on a cold day. Maybe Press Grill or Jack’s Diner.
-Steve Michalovich, Contributor

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For the past several years my family have grabbed dinner at Milestone 229 or Columbus Brewing Company a few days before Christmas and then walked our fullness off through Bicentennial Park to see and enjoy the holiday lights at the forefront of our wonderful city skyline. This pleasant hike has recently expanded to include Columbus Commons since that area is also a “can’t miss” now in terms of a beautiful downtown holiday spectacle. To add to the mystique and nostalgia of the holidays here in Columbus, I then take my family on a stroll through the State Auto nativity display to enjoy their reaction to this wonderful scene as I used to experience when I was a child.
-Steve Swift, Contributor




We also caught wind of a Christmas Cave a couple hours south of town. Has anyone been there and would recommend?