A positive path for spiritual living

Minister Musings


Occupy Christmas

 This year, I hope we all "Occupy" Christmas.  And I mean this in the sense that I hope we are aware and awake about our holiday planning and celebrations.  Is what we are doing in our seasonal festivities in alignment with our beliefs and values? Are we walking our talk at Christmas?

I received a thought-provoking email "Be Canadian. Buy Canadian" . It suggested that this Christmas season we birth a new tradition of buying local.  "For months, giant off-shore factories have been kicked into high gear to provide Canadians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced merchandise" (the  process and shipping also takes a toll on our environment.) "Everyone loves a bargain, but what about supporting Canadian creations with our gift giving. It's time to think outside the box, people!"

Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in overseas-produced wrapping paper?   There are so many wonderful Canadian gifts to be shared, gift bags to be reused, newspapers coloured for wrapping.  And beyond the box...

"Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local Canadian hair salon or barber?  Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.  Services are so appreciated - consider a certificate for an oil change, a local restaurant, a gift card to a popular coffee chain, a computer tune-up, or how about a cleaning lady for a day!"  (Even more personal if you can provide any of these services yourself.)  There are local crafts - knitting, pottery, jewelry - and even a local automobile manufacturer if you're thinking BIG gifts!  The article continued, "Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands."

For most of us, Christmas is about letting others know we consider them important to us, we appreciate them, we value what they do and we honour their place in our lives.  It doesn't take much to expand that concept to being about loving our neighbor, "encouraging Canadian small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Canadians, we support our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine."

Occupy Christmas this year.  In your shopping! In your gift giving! In your decorating! In your intention!  When you do this, what you're really occupying is your heart.  And afterall, isn't that what the season is really about? The love in our hearts? Totally locally made. And both in and out of the (Canadian) box!

Occupying my heart space. How about you?

Minister's Musicalings
From the Nov. 2011 newsletter
Music is such a powerful form of expression.  In the middle of our 5th annual Pop Series, I continue to find music revealing and transforming, moving my thinking, my emotions, my activities... Read more

  From Oct. newsletter--Thanksgiving
by Rev. Sharon (Ketchum) Clements

When the first reports arrived, it was impossibly outrageous to envision our friendly Susequehanna River rising 36 feet.  But as pictures and videos came flowing across the internet, the evidence    ... Read more
  From Sept. newsletter
This September marks the 10th anniversary of 9-11.
"I am a World Trade Center tower, standing tall in the clear blue sky, feeling a violent blow in my side, and I am a towering inferno of pain and suffering, imploding upon myself and collapsing to the ground. May I rest in peace."   While Canadians were not effected as directly ... Read more