This is definitely my favorite time of year. Everywhere I go, there’s the smell of cinnamon, yum. Throughout the month a wave of lights begins to take over the towns. My favorite pastime during the holiday season is seeing how many folks I can catch humming those familiar holiday tunes, then stun them as I join in with my “shower time” singing. During this last month of the year, I take more time to do the things I enjoy – like spending more time with family, writing notes and sending cards to people I haven’t reached out to in a while and reflecting on the past year’s events. Each year brings about a unique feel. Some years, I like to jump right into the shopping frenzy, but other years I get more wrapped up in the spiritual awakening than the gift giving. This year seems to be one of those years. Perhaps our Awakening Humanity editorial theme this month has impacted my mood, or maybe it’s because it’s been a tough year for so many.
In this time of celebration, we’re sobered to think how difficult life has suddenly become for many in our human family. Thousands lost their homes and possessions this past autumn, and their jobs literally blew away. Countless families are suffering in the aftermath of the Philippine typhoon. And let’s not forget the people in Haiti and Japan who are still recovering from their life-changing disasters that are out of the news, but still very real.
Many of us have expressed our concerns as the Earth’s warming climate begins to rear its ugly head. It’s worthy to take up this cause and do all that we can to make a difference. But also let’s not forget to share our blessings with people who are struggling to put their lives in order.
It’s easy to help. For disaster relief to U.S. tornados and Typhoon Haiyan victims, the AMERICAN RED CROSS is accepting $10 text donations to 90999 by texting REDCROSS. Or consider a direct typhoon aid donation to CARE at Care.org, to the PHILIPPINE RED CROSS or to any number of local groups. If you unsure of any charity organization, you can do a little research at CharityNavigator.org before sending money to lesser-known organizations. For more local assistance, The SALVATION ARMY has a tornado fund: text STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation, or donate online at Donate.SalvationArmyUSA.org/usc/2013-storms.
Another way you can help those in need is to share a Natural Awakenings magazine. Uplifting stories like our feature, “Near-Death Experiences,” enlightens our thoughts about passing over. Eckhart Tolle shines some light on the idea of spiritual awakenings in “Humanity’s Eternal Quest,” by Eric Nelson, which he states are not elusive at all, but decidedly practical. In case you may be feeling a little under the weather, “Tis’ the Season” offers some understanding, plus simple ways to feel better.
One more thing I liked to mention: as you consider gifts for your family and friends, please be sure to visit our Natural Awakenings advertisers. They’ll help you find the conscious and mindful gift for everyone on your list, which is one more way each of us can move towards a better future!