That knot in my stomach—I figured out from whence it comes. The 12 days of Christmas, or rather the 12 things I was trying to do all at one time, including baking for the Christmas party, being with my son, drinking my tea, planning the grocery list, organizing a meeting for work, and getting dressed. You may have your own similar list. When I noticed I was holding my breath, I exhaled slowly, relaxed, turned down the stove, and knelt in front of my son. I looked into in his eyes and said, “Tell me about your drawing.” It was then that I began to feel the true Christmas consciousness sparkling in my heart and mind.
Are you feeling frantic, overtired, un-centered, or lonely at this time of year? Here are 12 ways to make this Christmas Holiday truly be Holy (and Happy) Days.
- Affirm gratitude in the giving: “I give thanks to the Giver behind each gift and to the one Giver behind all that I give and receive.” While you are writing cards, shopping or wrapping or mailing or distributing gifts, pray for the people to whom you are giving that they may receive your blessings fully. And as you open cards and gifts, also pray to receive and give thanks to the One Giver behind all our efforts.
- Listen for joy. Look for the light in each moment. Remind yourself with music. Go to a Christmas concert. Listen to your favorite Christmas music at home.
- Practice forgiveness. Pray for anyone with whom you feel in conflict or a sense of unrest; take part in any forgiveness rituals that have meaning for you. Forgive yourself, too!
- Take a “Christmas Vow” for all or part the month of December. A few suggestions: let go of any non-necessary device usage and give personal attention to the people and moment unfolding around you. Each day, take a 1-5-minute (or longer) meditation/prayer break.
- Even if you are feeling uncertain about the reality of a Divine Presence, be curious, open, and willing to invite the Spirit of Christmas into your life. Put your concerns “on the shelf” for this season. Give your attention to the deeper meanings of Christmas.
- Bring more light into your home (in the Northern Hemisphere the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year) is on the 21st of December). Light a Christmas candle each day, for peace, for harmony, and for love around the world. String colored or white lights all around your home and altar.
- Read the Christmas story from the Bible—Chapters 2 from Luke and Matthew are the best. Read slowly, with deep attention, and inwardly feel the inner meanings of the words.
- Put out a picture of Jesus that you like. Make a small Christmas altar and look at his eyes, praying for the inner Christ Conscious to come to you in this season.
- Set up a small “Nativity Scene” on your altar or re-do your altar for the Christmas season.
- Be sure to have both a “spiritual Christmas” and a “social Christmas” to keep things balanced.
- On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, go to a Christmas Service with your family, friends, or even alone, if need be.
- Be with other like-minded truth-seekers as much as possible during this season.
- Keep the light going all year long. Save your gift tags and the Christmas cards you receive in a basket in your meditation space. Look at one of them each day throughout the coming year, and pray for that person or family.
- Rest in silence. Tale a moment of conscious breathing (breathe in, breathe out), a few minutes, or longer, or perhaps try a full day of silence and seclusion. It will help you listen, see, hear and feel the joy that is our birth-rite as Divine children.
- Serve! Look you to see who might need extra help or energy. Serve in any way you can. Even stopping for a moment, looking into someone’s eyes, smiling and saying thank you can be a great service. When I had to call the Lego Store because the website and my VIP account wasn’t functioning, remembering to forgive and serve the customer service person, helped me to stay calm. Always remember who you really are: a loving, giving person, doing your best to be kind to everyone and under all circumstances!
- On Christmas morning, very early, before anything else happens, meditate deeply and let the Christ Consciousness be born in the cradle of your heart.
We all need to do less, but simplifying can seem overwhelming in itself. Our impulse to give is a good one, so here is one final suggestion:
- Say “Yes!” with all your heart, to all you have before you. You will feel a new Christmas energy rush in to help you give and receive everything with calm joy!