“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
When I was a child growing up in Bayside, New York, the holiday season held a special brand of joyful magic that was like nothing else! Each year I looked forward to the point in time when a combination of crisp air with the promise of snow, fragrant pine trees for sale on every street corner, holiday music and dazzling store windows – plus an secret ingredient that I couldn’t identify at the time – added up to a tangible feeling of “Peace on earth, good will toward men.” Right now the temperatures in Southern California are in the 80s and there’s not a snowflake in sight, but I still look forward to the moment when I feel like I did when I was a boy in Bayside. And that secret ingredient? I realize now is, quite simply, The Power of Love!
As an adult, it’s easy to get so caught up checking items off your holiday to-do list that you find yourself on January 1st realizing that the true Spirit of the season has eluded you. This isn’t surprising – for most people the older you get the more time you spend in your head space and the less time living from your heart – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Before you send out your first holiday card or baste that turkey, take a moment to ignite the true spirit of the holidays, and forward that feeling on to someone you love. Here’s how to get started:
Light a joyful spark!
Here’s an immersion exercise I use to bring back the FEELING of the holidays. Sit quietly for a few moments and focus on your breathing. You might set the mood by lighting a candle or playing your favorite seasonal music. Think back to when you were a child, and relive a happy holiday memory. Immerse yourself in the experience – do your best to re-create the sights, sounds, smells and tastes as if you were there. Take time to remember every detail, and let yourself feel the same joy, love and wonder that you felt as a child. Sit with that feeling! Now pass that spark on by sharing your memory with someone else, and encourage them to relive and share a memory of their own.
I make sure to take time for this exercise every year in mid November. A few days ago this memory popped up and gave me a wonderful glow that has stayed with me for days. It was late Christmas Eve and we had just gotten home from midnight mass. My mother noticed that our neighbor, who lived alone, still had her lights on. She impulsively invited her over for some cookies and a glass of wine. We didn’t know this particular neighbor well at all, but we had noticed that she came and went at odd hours. She accepted our invitation, and seemed delighted to have company on Christmas eve. The adults chatted for a while as we children sat on the couch, listening to their conversation while eying the presents under the Christmas tree. It turned out that our neighbor, whose name was Olivia, was an opera singer – which explained her unusual comings and goings. My parents were music lovers and urged her to sing something for us. My sisters and I were half asleep by that time, but we woke up fast when the notes of “O Holy Night” filled our small living room. That familiar carol was taken to a whole new level by our gifted neighbor, and I was absolutely transported! To this day, every time I hear a version of that song, I remember myself as a small boy, on the couch, awed by the magic of my neighbor’s beautiful voice.
My new book, The Power of Love: Connecting to the Oneness was released earlier this week, right in time for the holidays. I hope you’ll pick up a copy for yourself and an extra one to give as a gift. I channeled this book from my Spirit guides, who allowed me to create a beautiful reminder that love and a feeling of connection is the key to living your soul purpose, here on earth.