Celebrities And The Holidays - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Celebrities And The Holidays

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Now that Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror, Hanukkah is underway and we're getting ready for Christmas, Kwanzaa and in 2014 there will be all kinds of events that bring the feeling of the holidays we've all learned to expect each year.

As a reporter I frequently get to go to some of these events. They're often really meaningful and do exactly what they are meant to do. They put me in the holiday spirit!

Some of these events draw celebrities. For example, at the missions and homeless shelters many will come out for holiday meals. That just happened at the Los Angeles Mission. Now, don't get me wrong. When the famous show up to serve food to the homeless I think many of them clearly are doing something really good. I really believe in their heart of hearts they are giving in a very special way and they are.

I have never seen a celebrity refuse to do interviews when standing in a food line. I never would have imagined such a thing. These are hardly controversial acts. They are acts of kindness. Last week, when at the Los Angeles Mission Neil Patrick Harris pulled into the parking lot by our news van. You can't miss the guy. He's so famous. "(Me) Hi Neil!" (Neil) "Hi!" (Me) I'm Hal Eisner with FOX11 .. wonder if we could have a brief interview with you." (Neil) "I don't think so. I want to stay low profile." (Hal) Is that so you don't seem to be the story? (Neil) a smile .. some laughter.

I had been warned by a mission's publicist this might happen because it's happened before. Harris, however, made a bee-line for the kitchen and started rolling pieces of turkey with the other volunteers. Other media showed up. So, did a publicist saying we could get video of Neil rolling turkey, but no interviews. I asked her is that because he doesn't want to become the story? "Yes," she said.

I've thought about that ever since. Even preparing food made him visually a story, but it did make him a little lower on the radar once everyone got their pictures of  him lending his support to the event.

I have come away with a feeling of respect for what he did. He was there. We could get pictures. But, he wanted to keep the focus on the "have nots" and, not the "haves." Perhaps that could have been accomplished a little better by making an on-camera comment to reporters like myself to the effect of ‘I'm glad to be here to lend my support, but this isn't about me. It's about those who will eat this food I'm helping to prepare.' But, good for him for coming out to help the homeless and, all of the other famous "haves" we've come to love through movies and TV for helping the "have nots!"

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