When I was a little girl, I believed my birthday was on Christmas. Because I was born on December 6th, and the house got decorated for Christmas around that time, I thought I was the reason for the festive season of lights. It didn’t take long for me to be put in my place with my Catholic upbringing as Baby Jesus got top billing for being the bringer of Love and Light to the planet. At least, this is what I was told before, during, and after holy mass.


As a very young child, Christmas was all about presents. At this early stage of my life, Christmas was a magical time when my sisters and I received presents simply because we existed. We didn’t have to do a thing to earn our gifts as the toy store magically found its way under our Christmas tree! What was I getting? was the only thing in my innocent little mind.


Although my memories of Christmases past were of happy and joyful celebrations, I do remember that celebrating the birth of Christ, as God made flesh, had somehow given way to celebrating the arrival of Santa Claus, with gifts delivered by reindeers pulling a sleigh. As the Christmases went by, I noticed that my perception of my favorite holiday of the year, besides my birthday, was shifting.


Once Santa got top billing, Christmas changed. Forever. Yes, I still couldn’t wait for Christmas morning, so I could run to the tree and open my presents. However, leading up to that moment, I lived with the fear that I may not get what I wanted, or worse, I could get just a lump of coal. By the age of 5, my parents began to tell me that I needed to be friendly and not naughty to earn my presents. I needed to perform to be rewarded. Now, I had to be a lovely child with a clean room and a made-up bed. I had to get good grades. I needed to be a good sister and a good daughter. I had to be a good girl — a good helper. I needed to become aware of what my parents wanted from me, so I could get what I wanted from them—I mean, from Santa.


Fast forward to 2002, the year my Soul’s Awakening began. Once I started to become self-aware and explore how I had been conditioned, since childhood, to be “nice and not naughty, good instead of bad, and do right instead of wrong,” the belief patterns that ran my life came rearing their ugly heads. I remember being at Target with my children’s Christmas wish lists in my hands and tears streaming down my cheeks as I realized that, just like my parents had, I too had bribed my kids into being excellent, sound, and doing what I judged right if they wanted to be rewarded.


Yes, I adored my kids, and I inevitably gave them what they wanted, even if they had moments of mischief, but the message was clear: you have to be “this” to get “that” reward, and if you are not what I want you to be, then you will be punished. Yikes, what a conditional message to give during the season of giving, which supposedly was about honoring the incarnation of the Master of Unconditional Love. I was giving, but I offered to get what I wanted.


Sixteen years into my Awakening the Soul has made me aware that all human life, when experienced through the myopic filter of our egoic identity, is ruled by our fear of being punished and not rewarded. No wonder the holidays, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other cultural celebration that is meant to be a time of happiness and good cheer, have become a time of stress, comparison, and disappointment. People worldwide have bought into the illusion that we are meant to give to get. When experienced without conscious awareness of our ego, the holidays become a time to earn our worth. It makes us conditional people who only give with an ulterior motive. We provide at work, to get the bonus. We offer our kids good behavior. We give up our sleep to get the Black Friday discounts. We give to our significant other to feel special. We give to friends to get acknowledgement. We give to the needy to undo guilt. And we give to the church to get into heaven.


Soul’s Awakening is how we become consciously aware that the ego-made rules about life are all based on fear. Not just by Santa or other holiday deities, but also by our parents, kids, neighbors, friends, teachers, bosses, lovers, society, government, and ultimately, and most frightening, by God. Yes, everything done by our human ego can be traced to our childhood fear that if we are naughty, we will be punished. This way of believing has dimmed our inner light, evidenced by our behavior, especially during the holidays, which sends us into a performance frenzy to get others to light us up with their approval temporarily to our childish human ego, these performances for support services as evidence that our existence has meaning.


Thankfully, many of us have felt the stirring of our Soul’s Awakening, which has ushered in the remembrance that each of us—YOU & ME—just like Baby Jesus, is also a bringer of Love and Light to the planet! The greatest Love of all—the unconditional kind—has been within us. The egoic belief that we have to stop being our authentic selves to get rewarded with praise and conditional Love is as made up as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and God is to be feared. Seriously, not one of us needs to give up a damn thing to get Love because Love is what we are made of. After all, we are each made in the image of God (or whatever you prefer to call it), which is the very Energy of Love and Light!


Regardless of how you celebrate this holiday season, consciously choose to be merry and bright just because, in Truth, the Love and Light that YOU are is the reason for the season. And by the way, so is everyone else, without exception, which means that no one needs a reward.


This is the season to give, only to receive, the pure bliss you will experience when you witness another feeling unconditionally loved by you. And, when you receive a gift, acknowledge the Love the other placed into the item and don’t focus on the object itself.


YOU, my beloved, are the bringer of Love and Light, and there is nothing you could get that could ever be worth more than what you already are. YOU, oh Holy Being of Love and Light, are the reason for this, and every, season!