A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE OF CHRISTMAS

The commercial christmas is the season of obligatory giving, unrestrained consumerism, family differences disguised as gatherings of the heart, and piles of wrapping trash. The celebration of love and joy that was born in the barren desert of Palestine is very different.

Love lifts us all. Even above the weight of forced familiarity, the spirit of giving soars. Linda and I are connected in ways we do not understand to a small island in the middle of the Pacific called “Maui.” We have returned to it every whale season for nearly thirty years. Our bond is that powerful. New shopping centers and asphalt have covered much of Maui since we first came, but they do not interfere with the spirit of Aloha there.

The commercial christmas is like the tons of asphalt that cover more of Maui each year, but the spirit of Aloha radiates through it like the spirit of Love radiates through the mountains of wrapping paper and trash that propel our economy from one selling season of to another, one season of consumption to another.

Christmas calls us to contribute. The commercial christmas calls us to consume. The spirit of Love, like the energy of Aloha, transforms us from consumers into contributors, from taking to giving, from expecting love from others to sharing it with others. For most people, this transformation is seasonal (temporary), but it doesn’t need to be. It can be a glimpse of your new life, your boundless compassion, and your fathomless love.

Happy Holi (Holy) Days,

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