Spirit of Unity

Last Minute Checklist

for a

Meaningful Holiday 

Blessings to You! 
As a visit to the local grocery store yesterday indicated, many people are out and about rushing to complete their holiday shopping and errands. I had to park out in the far area of the store, and there were no shopping carts available!
With alll the hustle and bustle, with all the spending, and lists, and decorations...many of these people will find, in spite of it all, something is missing from their holiday.
During Advent, we reflect on the light of the candles on the Advent Wreath, affirming that which gives Christmas true meaning...Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. These are gifts that cannot be purchased with money. They are priceless gifts that cannot be given without receiving. It just works that way.
Establishing meaningful traditions with friends and family, provides lasting hope, love, peace and joy. Observe, after the gift-opening frenzy, how many of the items are set aside, or lay at the bottom of the toy box. Think back to your own "Christmas Past." Was it really the gifts that gave you joy, or gathering with family and friends, hopeful for a time of love and peace?
What traditions and symbols of Christmas are filling your home this year? Do you have a Nativity scene? An Advent Wreath or Calendar? Inspirational holiday books? 
Here is list to make and "check twice,"
1) How can I show love to each person I encounter this Christmas?
    Kindness, caring, forgiveness and sometimes holding one's tongue can be great expressions of God's unconditional love.
2) How can I express or give Peace this Christmas?
   . Keep your words, thoughts and actions positive...with God all things are possible. Keep conversations upbeat. BE peaceful. Even with sugar-jazzed children, keep your peace.
3) How can I instill faith and hope this Christmas?
    Share stories of overcoming, do not buy into "current events" discussions that drain your positive energy. We acknowledge there is much that needs change in this world, but we do not give it power with our words. We all have stories of good deeds, overcoming negativity and miracles. Remind others, that Jesus in a time of great difficulties, but taught us how to overcome.
4) How can I bring joy this Christmas?
    Following the above suggestions will make great strides in that direction. Shower everyone with unconditional love, hope and peace and the joy will follow. Remember that we may not "like" someone, but that does not mean that we cannot respect them.
When you attend gatherings this holiday season, start conversations that will eilicit good memories. Share the joy of making cookies, or family traditions. Ask others what Christmas traditions gave their holidays meaning. Maybe you can even start your own meaningful holiday tradition this year!
In Unity we teach that we each have the spark of divinity within called Christ, which Jesus fully expressed and called us to express also. BE the Christ presence wherever you go this holiday season.
The meaning you get out of Christmas will be the meaning you put into it. It's not about money. It's not about Santa Claus. This is the day we celebrate the birth of one who came to SHOW US THE WAY to a meaningful, peaceful, loving and joy-filled life. And THAT is something to celebrate.   
Rev. Alicia Leslie
Spirit of Unity

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