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Symbols of Christmas

Mistaking the map for the land in the Allegory of the Nativity.

Giotto di Bondone, Nativity Scene, Lower Church of San Francesco d’Assisi

Reconnecting with the Spirit of Christmas.

It’s that time of year again my friends, where the momentum between Black Friday and Christmas Morning leaves us in a hangover of credit card regret, feeling our modest gifts are inadequate, massive piles of ripped wrapping paper, a hormone infused turkey, too much candy, the need for extra storage space and that sense that something important is missing.

Where is the joy? Where is the promise of peace? When did unconditional love leave the room?

I wrote this piece “Symbols of Christmas” (recorded below) many years ago. The year I realized that I anguished over the gifts that others might like. Spent way too much on stuff that people already had two of when children are actually hungry in the world and the environment was suffering our collective greed for more. Christmas carols in November evoke images of malls not mangers.

These were gifts that no one really needed let alone wanted. Many times I felt I was just activating the consumer gene that has evolved in our culture.

It was the year I became the least popular aunt. That’s right. The kids shared a yak or a llama or a gaggle of geese through Heifer International. Then there was the year of WWF. At least that year the children got stuffed animals with the adoption certificate of habitat. And then there was the year of the donation to our local dog rescue centre on Aegina Island.

BORING! Nothing glittered,made noise or took batteries.

Anyway it was the year of an internal shift where I realized that we have been given the map for joy and peace and love. Not a map for just one day but every day.

Unfortunately we mistook the map for the actual land itself. Instead of standing on solid ground, we were kiting along on paper – translation, interpretation and misdirection with the intent of misleading.

Misleading us from the journey to the centre of our divine Self outward to the clasping of an external authority and judge that would tell us who we were. “Symbols of Christmas” is my interpretation of what the message is really all about for every single day of our lives not just Christmas Day. The message is in the metaphor.

It’s about 20 minutes. I know a long time and you’ve already read this far. We have such short attention spans now. But if you are willing, grab a tea or cocoa and have a listen.

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