Christmas Card 2020

It’s early this year, I know! For those who know me, my Christmas Card usually arrives sometime in February — but this year, we’ll break with tradition, and celebrate early! 🙂
The idea of sending this out after Christmas is in part to remind us all to celebrate Gratitude, Readiness, Openness and Willingness, and all the values of Christmas the whole year through… Perhaps this reminder is as much needed now as ever. We’ve all been through a lot this past year. One begins to wonder if there is any rhyme or reason to it all. This year’s Christmas Story invites us to consider another perspective on just how much of what we experience is the randomness of time and how much of it — well, as The Course In Miracles puts it, “What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good? And so, inspired by that idea, I offer the following short story for a quiet January afternoon.
Perhaps you would like to make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, or bubbling herbal tea, or some delightful warm beverage, and take a few minutes to cozy up and enjoy this little story...

The Gift from the Cabinet with the Mullion Doors

by Arnold J. Mungioli

I could tell you what set it all in motion. I was there when the Youth arrived. He had a curiosity and a kind of insistence that comes from decades and decades of asserting one’s free will, and never appreciating the true gift that free will is – or life for that matter. I had never been a fan of free will, myself – not when given to those in the physical realm, anyway. I had always maintained to the Supreme Being that life on earth was too great a gift for a Soul to comprehend, let alone handle their own choices. It would inevitably lead to pain and troubles. It was someone from the physical realm – went by the name of John Keats — who once wrote, “Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul?”

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CHRISTMAS 2020

This Year’s Tree…

I know. I have been unusually silent on here for Christmas time! There are so many wonderful things to be said about this magical holiday season of Miracles! And ordinarily, I cannot stop saying them!

2020 has been an exceptionally Magical year, giving us time to pause, reflect and reassess how we spend the precious little time we have on this Earth. This Holiday Season has very much followed suit. Shaking it up! Giving us a different way to look at things we have grown accustomed to doing some particular way.

For so many of us, the Christmas Season happens by rote. Every Year it’s the same: Shop, Decorate, Tree, Cards, Wrap, Ship, Family, Cook, Collapse… Nope – Not this Year! This Year we will need to find what is important to us and figure out how to hang on to that!

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Sweetest Day

Happy Sweetest Day!

Today is Sweetest Day Celebrated the Third Saturday of October. As a kid growing up, I became enamored with the local Hallmark Card store that was on my walk to school. I became friendly with the family that owned it, and eventually worked there, decorating the windows or handling the register… I was probably 12 years old the first time I entered that store. It was right around this time of year, and Harrison who was to become one of my very best friends was wrestling with a crepe paper tissue monster to get it displayed in time for Halloween. Back then, Halloween decorations went up in October, and Christmas decorations went up in December. Life was simpler, then. Sweetest Day was a holiday brought (more…)

Star of Wonder

2019-12-29 13.50.45“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy”
–Matthew 2:10

Imagine what it must have been like…
To have such Light brought into your Life,
So Suddenly, and from out of nowhere!
Unexpectedly, there it is, Gleaming in the Sky and Giving Light…
Glistening!
Dazling!
Leading!
Shining!

When you call the Integral Yoga Institute, they answer the phone, “How may I be of service?”
I always thought this was so Beautiful.
Of course it is one of the tenets of Yoga to be of Service (The pretzel poses are only one of the eight limbs of Yoga), but to offer this straight out, first thing… it’s Inspiring!

How is your Christmas going?
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Pause…

Grandma’s Stroufeli & DAMON’s MOM’s Pumpkin Bread

On this Sixth Day of Christmas…
New Year’s Eve

It baffles me to see people walking down the street this past week,
Moseying with a kind of laissez-faire attitude,
As if there is nothing much going on.
Awfully Silly.
It’s Christmas!
It is a Twelve-Day Celebration,
If you want it!
Don’t Miss Out!

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First Day of Christmas

Our Entranceway…

It can sure be chaos, can’t it though?
Getting ready for a Holiday for which most folks “don’t have time”…
Well, its’ good to remember that none of us “Has Time” for Anything!
It is about Making Time!
It is about what’s important to Us!

It is about the Life that we Choose to Live!

So, just to review:
December 25this Christmas Day.
December 26this the First Day of Christmas!
December 27this the Second Day of Christmas…
And so forth through January 6th, the Twelfth Day of Christmas! (more…)

The Present Moment

I have been told that Blog Posts are generally significantly shorter than the kind of writing I do. And while never one to conform, it occurs to me that occasionally a Brief Thought can be just enough to make someone’s day.
And so, for Today, I am offering the following Brief Thought…
(and who knows, if I get a few more of these underbelt, I might even develop a Twitter Feed!)

Today is a Gift!
That’s why they call it the Present!

It’s about two weeks until Christmas!
And very much in spite of the commercial push to get us to buy things which now begins at Labor Day, I grew up in a World in which even these first two weeks of December were considered very much Ordinary Time.
Back then, we lived more in the Present Moment!
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40 DAYS

I know. I know.
With all that is going on in the World and in my Life right now,
If someone even mentioned Christmas to me in the middle of November,
I would react with somewhat of a bristle!
I would shrug them off.
I might even be tempted to put up my hand at them and shout, “NO!”
Who wants to hear about Christmas right now, anyway!?

Well, I Do.
I just can’t get over the idea that the Saving of the World is worth Celebrating!
I really like the idea that the World was Saved some two thousand years ago,
And that we actually have nothing to worry about, as the World is Already Saved! (more…)

Twelfth Night

Something Bittersweet.

I Love Christmas!
I Love the Season and I Love Kindness and I Love all that is Celebrated!
I Love Baking and Holiday Entertaining and Playing and Fun with Friends and Loved Ones!
I Love the Tree!
I Love the Decorations!
Most of All, I Love the twinkle in my Partner’s Eyes and how he is all Aglow throughout the Season!
I Love the GiftGiving and the Magic and the Laughter and how awestruck people seem when they enter our humble little apartment and see it decked out on the scale of Rockefeller Center!
I Love that my Partner prepares Gifts for the Mail Person and the UPS Delivery Person, and the people who work in the LaundryMat and the Bank and the Diner across the Street…
I Love that he always makes sure I don’t leave the house without a few small chocolate Santas in my pocket in case we see a child or a train conductor or salesclerk who needs a smile!
I Love Grace, an Asian Woman at our Local Post Office, who was presented with one of his Chocolate Santa “Neighborhood Gifts” and was so overwhelmed that she held it up for all to see and began shouting to everyone with such Glee, “I Got a Merry Christmas!!! I Got a Merry Christmas!”
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Simple

Getting the Hot Chocolate Ready — double checking the secret recipe on my phone

Not Feelin’ It? Create It!

It is ten days ‘til Christmas Day!
Not Feelin’ it Yet?
Me Neither.
And that’s OK.

I grew up in a time when Christmas Decorations were not for sale in stores as of Labor Day Weekend,
Christmas Music played on the Radio from mid December right through New Year’s Day — it didn’t stop when stores closed on Christmas Eve,
And the Commercialization of Christmas is something against which People railed!
We didn’t feel any pressure ten days in advance.
In fact, it was only right about now that excitement about the Holiday began to brew.
We couldn’t wait for it to get here and it felt like it would never come!
‘Twas a Simpler Time, although much can be learned from it…
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