1) While you are shopping for gifts, pray for the person(s) to whom you are giving them and say the “Gratitude” affirmation: “I give thanks to the Giver behind each gift and to the one Giver behind all that I give [and receive.]” -from Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda.
2) Save your gift tags and the Christmas cards you receive. Keep them in a basket in your meditation room and take one a day to pray for each giver in the coming year
3) Take a “Christmas Vow” for all or part the month of December. For example: eating no sugar, meditating a longer amount of time each day, cutting out “fillers” like TV, videos, and low energy reading materials.
4) Study! Suggestions: read the Christmas story from the Bible—chapter 2 from Luke and Matthew are the best. Read slowly at the close of your meditation and feel the inner meanings of the words.
5) Put out a picture of Jesus that you like. Make a small Christmas altar and look at his eyes, praying for the inner Christ Conscious to come to you in this season
6) Set up a small “Nativity Scene” on your altar and decorate with twinkling lights, poinsettias, etc.
7) Consider participating in an 8-hour meditation, on or near December 23. If possible, do it at an Ananda center or meditation group. If not, do it on your own. Unimaginable blessings can come from Yogananda and Christ during the Christmas season, if you put forth extra effort. Be sure to have both a “spiritual Christmas” and a “social Christmas” to keep things balanced, as Paramhansa Yogananda taught by his example.
8) Play tapes or CD’s of Yogananda’s voice, especially those made during the Christmas Season or around his birthday (January 5th).
9) Have and light daily a special Christmas candle.
10) Practice conscious forgiveness of those with whom you may have issues.
11) Take a time of silence and seclusion. The week (or a few days) leading up to Christmas or the week between Christmas and New Years Day are often good times to do it.
12) Look around you to see who might need extra help or energy. Serve in any way you can find to offer service to others. Call and/or get together with those you know who might be ill, sad, or lonely especially at this season.
13) Have uplifting Christmas music in your life. Chanting or listening to music is great! Ananda has many wonderful Christmas songs to offer you. Attend a Christmas concert.
14) Consider coming to Ananda for all or a part of the Holidays. Christmas at Ananda is such a wonderful experience. I spend my first Christmas here in 1977 and promised myself never to be anywhere else. I’ve kept that promise!
15) On Christmas morning, very early, before anything else happens, meditate deeply and let the Christ Consciousness be born in the cradle of your heart.