Seeking and Finding the Spirit of Christmas
It is our favorite time of the year here at Violet Flame World - the Christmas Season! This is our third year to be able to share Christmas with you and we are grateful.
Events can sometimes develop a familiar, unwelcome feel around Christmastime – the search for the perfect gift, tension at family gatherings, a time when the lonely get lonelier, financial challenges, the seemingly endless comings and goings, materialism, and the pressures to be “all things to all people”. I have experienced some of these myself over the years and I believe many of you have too.
When you get right down to it, I feel most people are simply looking for the Christmas Spirit – for true joy, the joy of the heart filled with true love. And perhaps we are unsure how or where to find it.
This year, I will share seven personal approaches I have taken over the years to discover and re-kindle the Christmas Spirit - practices which will hopefully enable you to discover more of the Christmas Spirit too! These practices are not overly complicated or time-consuming - most are simply about “forgetting self” and involve “less doing” and more “becoming”. I hope they prove helpful!
My Seven Approaches to Finding and Becoming the Spirit of Christmas
Practice #1 - Read Elevating, Uplifting, and Inspiring Stories
I have a co-worker who told me their daughter still believes in Santa Claus. She is about 10 years old, and I remember thinking how endearing this is in modern times. I am grateful some still have such child-like innocence and wish things could be like that for many others too. It also reminded me of a story to share…
In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon (photo above) wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun. Her letter, plus the reply from veteran newsman Francis P. Church, has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps. The story follows:
DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
VIRGINIA O’HANLON. 115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Practice #2 - Watch Elevating, Uplifting, and Inspiring Movies and Programs
The Christmas movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” was not particularly well-received when it was first introduced in 1946. However, the movie steadily gained popularity over many years and today is considered one the most heartwarming and successful movies ever produced.
The young girl in the picture above played the part of Zuzu, the youngest daughter in the Bailey family. She is still alive at the time of this blog and never saw the completed film until nearly 40 years later! However, by her estimation today, she has now seen “It’s A Wonderful Life” over 500 times and has become the unofficial good-will ambassador for the movie and everything it represents. “Zuzu” says she has talked with thousands of people whose lives were favorably impacted or saved(!) by this movie and considers her part in it the absolute role of a lifetime.
Practice #3 - Give your Gift. Share Your Light With Others
The following is an excerpt from an article about one man, Michael Ashworth, and how he is giving his gift and sharing his light with others.
PhD in Computer Science. World renowned chocolate maker. Singer/songwriter?
Atlanta’s Michael Ashworth has accomplished quite a few things in life. For starters, he is a former Deloitte management consultant holding a doctorate in Computer Science from famed Carnegie Mellon University.
Several years ago Ashworth left the world of consulting and academia behind, and with no formal culinary training opened The Chocolaterie outside Atlanta, where he has gone on to create, basically, chocolate art – truffles with flavors like Bananas Foster, Strawberry Cheesecake, Jalapeño-Blackberry, Peanut Butter Birthday Cake®, and more than a hundred others, all meticulously hand-painted like colorful, sparkling jewelry. A master chocolate inventor if you will.
And now, singer/songwriter…?
Ashworth is the songwriter and performer of “Follow Your Star” – a seasonal, inspirational country song inspired by Mr. Ashworth’s mother Shirley Ashworth, and sadly, her sudden and inexplicable death right before Christmas, her favorite time of year.
“I didn’t know before I wrote it, but looking back in perspective, I believe I wrote the song as a way of honoring my mom and sharing with others what she shared so effortlessly throughout her life – her grace,” said Ashworth.
“At first, as the song played in my mind I knew I had to be sort of ‘streaming her consciousness’ when I began singing the complete melody and lyrics so loudly in the kitchen that store personnel began to question my sanity even more than usual. A few days later, in mid-December, I sat down at my piano in the basement and wrote out the lyrics and music, complete with the instrumental and choral arrangement that kept playing in my mind each day.”
“Follow Your Star” is a heart-warming story, a call-to-action to follow your dreams, a song about hope, Christmas, and enduring struggles.
Ashworth: “You see, my mom really loved Christmas. It was a focal point of family and giving… much more than mere dogma and religion. Really, the song is the simplest expression of how she lived out her belief in God.”
Michael also co-produced a moving music video for the song. The video opens with a homeless mother and son who receive a guitar from a stranger who is “following his star,” Michael explains. “The mother and her son are able to build a better life, and soon they too ‘follow their star’ by helping another person in need.”
Watch the music video here:
Practice #4 - Pray and Worship With Devotion
I grew up attending the Lutheran Church and Christmas was always one thing they did well! Near the end of the service on Christmas Eve they would turn out all the lights and everyone would light their candle from the main candle at the front of the sanctuary. Once everyone’s candle was lighted, we all sang the song Silent Night a cappella – meaning without orchestration or instrumentation. It was a church full of people "only" singing but it was magical and there was a sense of oneness from the sharing of the light from one candle plus singing together in one voice.
Practice #5 - Give the Violet Flame Regularly
I have been giving violet flame for many years now and can witness to its elevating, uplifting, and inspiring impact. The violet flame is freely available to everyone and does not require membership or affiliation with a particular organization or religion to experience its many benefits. For example, I was still a member of the Lutheran Church and singing Silent Night when I first started giving violet flame!
Today, spiritual seekers from around the world are discovering the violet flame. They are embracing it with great enthusiasm and witnessing to daily miracles. Lives are changing, hearts are being uplifted, and people are awakening worldwide!
If you would like to experience giving 15 minutes of violet flame, try the link below and note how much lighter and buoyant you feel afterwards!
Practice #6 - Remember the Heart of a Child
Remember the heart of a child—your child, yourself—thinking about the coming of Santa and how he would enter the house, and how you would leave him cookies and milk and perhaps even a snack for the reindeer. Wherever possible, maintain the child-like innocence of my co-worker’s daughter I wrote about earlier!
Practice #7 - Be the Spirit of Christmas and See How Much the Spirit Desires to Be You
In the esoteric classic “Unveiled Mysteries”, author Godfre Ray King writes: The Eternal Law of Life is: ‘What you think and feel, you bring into form; where your thought is, there you are, for you are your consciousness; and what you meditate upon, you become.”
As you draw nearer to the Spirit of Christmas the Spirit of Christmas by definition will draw nearer to you. Our assignment is to enter the Spirit of Christmas and be it – be it every day of the year!
May each of you find and experience the many blessings of Light this Season and always.
Merry Christmas and until next time…