At this Thanksgiving time in America I feel a deep yearning for home and family. At this season of year, the desire runs deep for me and for many people. The essence of the experience is touched, and yet the full knowing of it can be elusive.


For me, the longings that come in this holiday season aren’t easily satisfied by roast turkey and cranberry sauce, and soon candy canes, Christmas trees and presents. I look forward to seeing my grandson, Xavi, and I enjoy the children where I live at Sunrise Ranch. Yet still, there is the deep yearning for home and family that isn’t easily satisfied by these things alone. And I love Christmas carols, but sometimes wonder, How many more times in my life am I going to sing “Jingle Bells”? It feels like I’ve already met my lifetime quota.

I’m not Scrooge and I will be putting up a Christmas tree. Yet the yearning continues.

We hosted 75 people today for Thaimg_4113nksgiving at Sunrise Ranch. I cooked four of my best pecan pies in the world and we had the traditional turkey.

I offered a blessing for the meal and then asked people at each of the round tables to, in turn, name something for which they felt gratitude. A contented quiet fell over the room as people expressed themselves and listened intently to each other. What other new rituals can we create for the holidays that engage us more deeply in whatever those words “home” and “family” are really about? I am pretty sure I can come up with ways for people to share at greater depth than they usually do.

Have you ever spent Christmas time in a public place? When I was in college I waited on tables over the holidays. And there have been times when I traveled at img_4130Christmas time. There was also some anguish during such times at not being with those closest to me. Yet that anguish was mixed with a sense of connection with other people, which transcended the usual family relationships. There was a delight in sharing the festivity of the season with people I had never met. I’ve had the same experience shopping for presents on Christmas Eve. Or window shopping on 5th Avenue in New York City. The happy buzz can be palpable.

This is part of what I long for so deeply during the holidays—an experience of home and family that is bigger than me and mine. An experience of the family of man, and of being at home together on this most beautiful planet (the most beautiful planet I’ve ever seen). I long to know a connection with other people that isn’t only because we have known each other a long time, because our skin is the same color or we worship at the same church. I long for the commonality that I share with all human beings, even though it often doesn’t come to the surface. And I long to share that transcendent commonality with the people closest to me.

dreamstime_xxl_1625221As I see it, that is what the Christmas story is all about. In the story, Jesus lived that commonality. He wasn’t just a leader for his own people, the Jews. He connected with anyone who would share that commonality with him. The wise men came from the East, as the carol says, from the Orient. The story doesn’t mention whether the shepherds were Jews or not. Jesus met with Romans and he served people who were shunned by his culture.

As the story goes, he was a living embodiment of what makes a family and what let’s us know home. Simply put, it is love. Maybe Love with a capital “L.” Or put whatever word you want in front of it to show that you are not just talking about infatuation or the possessive kind of love of me and mine—Universal Love, Evolutionary Love, Unconditional Love, Agape Love.

This is the truth I am longing to know fully and share with others. So I commit myself to that in this holiday season. I commit myself to invite that knowing and sharing from others too. How about you?


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Tom Cooper
Tom Cooper
December 5, 2016 3:18 pm

Beautiful, David. This gives new meaning to “home for the holidays”…. I greet you HOME to HOME. Love, Tom C.

Jane Anetrini
Jane Anetrini
December 5, 2016 4:20 pm
Reply to  Tom Cooper

The longing can only be filled when one is truly home And that place is then with you wherever you go and with whomever you find yourself. The community of humanity is one. Happy holidays to my family around this beautiful planet

Joyce Dosher
Joyce Dosher
December 5, 2016 3:29 pm

I’m with you all the way on that one David. I call it Universal love or Unconditional Love. Many do not understand either one. I love what you are doing, as for me I stay home alot and out of the mainstream. Why? Because it makes me uncomfortable. I learned years ago when I was very outgoing and caring and every time I had alot of friends it always caused me trouble. I woldget in trouble at work because they were always calling me even after asked not to, I would try to help them in some way and that caused trouble. I have found that one has to be careful how they carry themselves, I learned about boundaries and that I have to protect myself. These type of things kept happening until I said no more, I have had enough. So I stay home alot.Well I went complete circle there and that’s about it. Thank you again. Peace Love and Light be with you always

Jeannie Martin
Jeannie Martin
December 5, 2016 5:33 pm

Thank you, David.

As I reflect upon Christmases past I remember the different experiences and feelings that were present in my life; as a child with wonder and excitement, as a teenager on a Christmas trip to Hawaii (I cut the trip short and came home on Christmas Eve because I missed my family), as a single mom with very little money, as a daughter who lost my dad at Christmas, as a self employed person who worked on many Christmas Eves and Christmas Days, and so many Christmases that were a blur of hectic ‘doing’. And now at this time of my life I feel a deeper calling… the calling of my soul to embrace humanity and give the gift of love and support to all who share this beautiful planet with me. It has taken decades of my life to find the true meaning of the Christmas Spirit and to share what I feel is the greatest gift of all… unconditional love.

Love and Blessings at Christmas and always, Jeannie.

Michel Vaillancourt
Michel Vaillancourt
December 5, 2016 7:22 pm

Dear David, how wonderful it is to touch this universal love during this time of the year. It is a fantastic occasion to give our world the best of ourselves. Yes, I am with you in the spirit of thanksgiving for all that come’s our way, blessing all being that are looking for the unconditional love that the heart of man so long for. Thank you for sharing your crystal clear wishes so we may serve our world with renewed grace and love. One with You,Michel

Linda Moore
Linda Moore
December 5, 2016 8:10 pm

I agree, David. There is a deeper place we move into the Spirit of Love, the knowing and action of love. Every day is Christmas, in understanding. We live in a culture where hearts are most open to giving and receiving at this appointed time of year. An ignigma to me in many ways when the door is open every moment.

I find in my life these days that there is far more depth in celebration daily. I share in the beauty of thanksgiving of the Christ Spirit in within each in celebration of the moment of home, family, friends in the warmth of bein, one to another. There is no greater Gift. This gift comes momentarily, everyday of living undesignated with no separation. So be it.

I live in between this place and the other place in a home among the stars of heaven and the Sun of guiding light.

Thank you for opening the door of welcome, David.

Margaret Coles
Margaret Coles
December 6, 2016 2:16 am

Hello everyone, dear souls, greetings for the season of love. Love has expressed itself in a round about way for our family. A grandson died in October, consuming tainted heroin, now a son in law is about to leave this world from Cancer. But it has opened the hearts of all in some level or another. All year I have been aware of my own acceptance of love, being enhanced. In holding our arms out to this sort of example, annuls the fear and takes so many of us forward, even if we don’t know all concerned at the time. Keep well and warm in every way. Love Margaret.

Margaret Coles
Margaret Coles
December 6, 2016 4:25 am

Follow on from my last link, above. As I was discussing all these events, this morning with son and daughter; over a period of an hour or so, the most exquisite perfume approached me from the right hand side. Last week, roses wafted under my nose for several minutes. This can happen to me from time to time, always from the right. Who can doubt? Love Margaret.

Irene de Groof
Irene de Groof
December 6, 2016 5:10 am

Dear David

The experience of X-mass here is different , we do presents , poems and jokes December the 5 , what was lovely this year to share with my family , sentences we have not said to one and other were shared in the form of the poems
X- mass has been for me often a duty , but that has changed through the openness in communications.
Last year, I did one day my own drawing mandalas.
This year its open and one day is a family happening were everybody brings something to the table
I feel really blessed and consider you all my family to in the deeper place of love.

December 6, 2016 11:03 am

Sometimes it has been said that every day could be like Christmas, well to some extent that is true, it is similar to saying every day is a creative day, when I embody the Divine, so 365 days of the year can be special if we let it be. To the extent that the Truth is really true in in my everyday living.

Where I work one of the hotel staff put up a most beautiful Christmas tree, which she does every year and she asked me to come a see how she had decorated the tree. Truly beautiful, covered in a myriad of beautiful white doves and other decorations. After I had complimented her, one of her colleagues said, ‘Stephanie, and she is Moslem! I loved that…it was all so natural and not divisive or silly. She sincerely loved doing this… her innocence touched me.

Love from Stephanie F

Alex Chapman
Alex Chapman
December 7, 2016 3:23 pm


Keahi Ewa
Keahi Ewa
December 10, 2016 11:50 am

What a wonderful invitation thank you, David! My heart responds with “Aloha Kakou!!” Greetings/acknowledgment of all my relations. Aloha also means Love. To acknowledge, embrace. appreciate, care for, cherish, protect ALL my relations is a wonderful wonderful way to live. To me, this is Living Aloha and this is how we are meant to live.

Aloha from Hawaii!

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