Australians love to celebrate Christmas Day. The first one in this country, most likely occurred at Sydney Cove on December 25th, 1788, when initial white settlers enacted their homeland traditions.
Since then, it’s been traditional in the weeks leading up to the “big day” for family homes to be decorated, Christmas trees installed and greeting cards sent out. On Christmas Eve, carols are sung and church services held, while children anticipate a visit from Santa Clause. On Christmas Day, family and friends gather to exchange gifts and enjoy special Christmas food.
THE GIFT OF PEACE
Giving gifts during special celebrations occurs in many cultures, and faith traditions including Muslim Ramadan, Jewish Hanukkah, African American Kwanzaa, and Ta Chiu. However, there’s one special gift that can be exchanged year round with people of every race and creed. It’s the universal gift of peace.
Peace is not just the absence of war, hostility, violence, fear, or anger. Peace is harmony, contentment, calmness, quiet, rest. It’s a state of mind that finds expression in peaceful and friendly actions on our roads, at home, school, and in the workplace. It’s a spiritual quality of thought springing from a divine Love, and it resides within us.
– Be generous. Give the gift of peace – patience, kindness, goodwill to everyone you meet each day.
– Unwrap gratitude for living in a peaceful community. As one recent arrival said, “I’m so grateful to live in peace. All I’ve ever wanted is a peaceful life for me and my family.”
– Give and receive the gifts of respect and tolerance.
– Offer appreciation to parents for the way they educate, house, feed, clothe and teach their kids to live harmoniously alongside neighbours, and work cooperatively with others.
BE A PEACEMAKER
A wise man once commented, “Many wish for peace, and talk loudly for it, who do not follow the things that make for peace. Meekness, humility, self-denial, and love, make for peace. We cannot edify one another, while quarrelling and contending”. – Matthew Henry
– Be a peacemaker. Speak gently. Be patient at work, home, and school.
– Nurture unselfishness and compassion in yourself and others. Foster a spirit of unity.
– Be a good neighbour. Help everyone to live peaceably in “secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places”.
– Let the much-loved Christmas nativity story told in The Bible, Luke, Chapter 2, inspire you to give the gift of peace now, and all year round. Such gift-giving, is good for everyone’s health.
I’m a professional Christian Science Practitioner and Teacher. Through my prayer-based practice, I help people find happiness, health and healing. As a writer on the connection between spirituality and health I share inspiring can-do tips and ideas.