Dec 20, 2006

This day is the culmination for each of us of a year of spiritual growth, of awakening to our own magnificence.  The true meaning of Christmas is in the warmth of family and friends that we have brought into our lives through a smile, an action and an outreaching hand.  It has nothing to do with the day and every thing to do with the life, the moment and the passion for living a better world.

I must today acknowledge some of the many changes for myself, our Centre and Light Mail. 

For the first time in almost seven years the Centre has had its very own home.  No boxes of stuff hauled to and from the Sunday location, no more strategic storing of Centre belongings in shoe boxes in past members basements and no more searching at the last minute for a location for classes, meetings and Sunday services.  It was a great relief for everyone and created a new sense of ownership for the board and members of the Centre.  New programs flourished and immediately it seemed the Centre took on a new life. 

This year was also a major year for asset gains and purchases for the growth of our Centre.  We bought 30 new and very comfortable chairs from our growth fund.  We were gifted with not one but two pianos, we have stepped into digital comfort with CD recordings of our Sunday talks and now a ‘free to the community’ inspirational movie night, third Friday of the month, next one January.

The final chapter for the OK-CPL was the determination to move and the finding of the perfect new location; #203 3131 29th Street.  It is bigger and much more comfortable Centre for us all.

We, the Spiritual Circle that are at the core of the Centre extend our gratitude to BC government Direct Access program for allowing us to give to those of our community in need over five thousand dollars in time, service and aid.  We have been as active as ever before awakening the wonder of who we are through the giving of our hearts.
Light Mail, also has been changing, this year we went from a weekly outreach to a daily inspirational forum. 

We have created a website just for Light Mail and are in the process of developing a true webmail service.  Light Mail has grown from a mere 30 person mailout to a daily inspiration that reaches well over a hundred people.  Our webmaster, Michael Phillips has donated at least a hundred hours setting up and building the site.  Thank you Michael, we are all looking forward to the new format.

There is much more I could share but I do not normally allow this service to be a news forum.  If any of you would like to discover more and happen to be in Vernon you may come to our Candle Lighting service, 3319 Coldstream Ave (549-4399) or any Sunday at our new location.

I leave with you these final directions for a peace filled Christmas morning passed on to me.


This is the time of year when we think back to the very first Christmas when the Three Wise Men: Gaspar, Balthazar and Herb went to see the baby Jesus; and according to the Book of Matthew, "presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet often overlooked, theological fact.

There is no mention of wrapping paper.

If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have said so:

"And lo, the gifts were inside 600 square cubits of paper.  And the paper was festooned with pictures of Frosty the Snowman.

And Joseph was going to throweth it away, but Mary saideth unto him, she saideth, 'Holdeth it!  That is nice paper!  Saveth it for next year!'  And Joseph did rolleth his eyeballs.  And the baby Jesus was more interested in the paper than the frankincense."

But these words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped.  This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics:

1. They were wise. 2. They were men.

Men are not big gift wrappers.  Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off.  This is not just my opinion; this is a scientific fact based on a statistical survey of two guys I know.

One is Rob, who said the only time he ever wraps a gift is "if it's such a poor gift that I don't want to be there when the person opens it."

The other is Gene, who told me he does wrap gifts, but as a matter of principle never takes more than 15 seconds per gift.

"No one ever had to wonder which presents daddy wrapped at Christmas," Gene said.  "They were the ones that looked like enormous spitballs."

I also wrap gifts, but because of some defect in my motor skills, I can never completely wrap them.  I can take a gift the size of a deck of cards and put it the exact center of a piece of wrapping paper the size of a regulation volleyball court, but when I am done folding and taping, you can still see a sector of the gift peeking out.  (Sometimes I camouflage this sector with a marking pen.)

If I had been an ancient Egyptian in the field of mummies, the lower half of the Pharaoh's body would be covered only by Scotch tape.

On the other hand, if you give my wife a 12-inch square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a C-130 cargo plane.  My wife, like many women, actually likes wrapping things.  If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of mental illness.  If it were possible, my wife would wrap each individual volt.

My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills like having babies that come more naturally to women than to men.

That is why today I am presenting:


* Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped.

If, when the recipient opens the gift, neither one of you recognizes it, you can claim that it's myrrh.

* The editors of Woman's Day magazine recently ran an item on how to make your own wrapping paper by printing a design on it with an apple sliced in half horizontally and dipped in a mixture of food coloring and liquid starch.

They must be smoking crack.

* If you're giving a hard-to-wrap gift, skip the wrapping paper!

Just put it inside a bag and stick one of those little adhesive bows on it. This creates a festive visual effect that is sure to delight the lucky recipient on Christmas morning:

YOUR WIFE: Why is there a Hefty trash bag under the tree?

YOU: It's a gift! See? It has a bow!

YOUR WIFE (peering into the trash bag): It's a leaf blower.

YOU: Gas-powered! Five horsepower!

YOUR WIFE: I want a divorce.

YOU: I also got you some myrrh.

In conclusion, remember that the important thing is not what you give or how you wrap it.  The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.

~(c) by Dave Barry