It has been a tradition of mine to share these timeless words of Ernest Holmes with you each year because they so inspiringly remind us of the true spirit of human givingness that is at the heart of the holiday season. My prayer is that they may inspire each one of us to carry this generosity into every day in the New Year.
A CHRISTMAS LETTER FROM ERNEST HOLMES
Christmas is for remembrance. The love manifested through our gifts to each other typifies the offer of Life and the givingness of Spirit to Its creations. The hands of the eternal are outstretched through our hands, and the heart of the Infinite beats in the human breast. But the giver must give of himself, for, “the gift without the giver is bare.”
It is not, then, in lavish gifts that we find true giving, but in the sweet simplicity of remembrance, in the kindly thought, the tolerant mind and the gentle act. Love alone can give love, sympathy alone can sympathize and only goodness can really do or be good.
The one who gives for reward does not give at all; he seeks to bargain; to trade for spiritual gifts; hence, he senses a loss in his own giving and finds no completion through the act. But, he who gives “half his meat” to the hungry feels justified and is warmed by a real sense of comradeship. He has established an actual unity between himself and other offspring of Creation.
Great causes succeed when there is a giving of humanity to humanity. With the check must come the one who wrote it, his interest, his enthusiasm, his love. The check must be a symbol of his desire to impart of himself–then shall it multiply its benefits and do good. Charity is cold–but love is warm. When heart speaks to heart a divine conversation has taken place, a heavenly discourse.
Each of us has something to give. Let each see that he gives of his best. If we are bringing our gifts to the alter of love, nothing less than the best will be acceptable; nothing less than all is enough.
May the real spirit of Christmas–the giving of the self to life, enter and abide in you now and through all times.