Christmas time is full of wonderful opportunities for us to demonstrate our love for one another and to become more aware of its very important role in our lives.

Love is such a familiar word that it is easy to use it without really thinking about the extent of its meaning. As Christmas is traditionally a time of love, what could be more appropriate than taking time during the weeks leading up to Christmas to contemplate the true meaning of love. Through understanding it more thoroughly, we increase our expression of love through kindness, compassion, sharing and giving, contributing as well to the great reservoir of love that is growing in our world.

Love is such an incredible, glorious force. It is ever-active in our lives, appearing in many guises, but always providing whatever is needed for our growth and well-being.

At the physical level, love is another word for being connected. It is the golden thread that links individuals to form couples, families and groups. In broader terms, it is the magic glue that binds Creation into a cohesive whole, making sense of every object within it and giving purpose to every function. It is like a heartbeat that reverberates throughout Creation, giving it rhythm and constancy.

Wherever discord or apparent lack of any kind is found, it is certain that it is caused by a need for love. Ultimately, love has the capacity to flow into every empty space and fill it.

Acts of love toward others contribute to filling any lack that exists within them. Love is also contagious. Freely and spontaneously expressing love, kindness or care can stimulate others to act in a similar manner. A person receives a kind word and it helps them to feel better about life. Feeling better makes them more able to be similarly generous to others. A simple word or act of kindness can be the beginning of a chain where kind words or acts are passed on in various forms indefinitely.

Simple, quite ordinary actions such as tying a child's shoelace, filling a birdbath with fresh water or saying hello to a neighbour are all expressions of love and have an important effect in the world, even if it is not always visible.

Being the recipients of acts of love validates people as being worthy of receiving love and care and encourages the positive qualities within them. Love enhances and augments whatever it contacts.

It is not just people who need love. Animals and all of nature require our loving and thoughtful care. Even those things that we are in the habit of thinking are inanimate are all expressions of life-force exhibiting varying degrees of activity. They all require our attention and care. We are fortunate to live in a world that offers so much opportunity to express love, as our capacity to love grows the more we use it.

Love can be demonstrated in more ways than just through practical physical actions. Our minds and hearts are powerful tools also. It is a wonderful thing to mentally send love to a person to help or heal them, as it will surely have a beneficial effect. Actually feeling unselfish love or compassion for someone is even more potent, as it is spontaneous and heartfelt.

There is also a third way that is extremely powerful, though less familiar. It works because we are all brothers and sisters in Spirit and we have within us the capacity to share and care for each other. It involves loving or performing acts of care and giving on behalf of another person who is not in a space to be able to do it themselves. Their incapacity may be through physical circumstances such as illness or through a psychological or spiritual inability or unwillingness to express love. Whatever the reason, we can do it for them until they are able to do it for themselves. They do not even have to know about it. We just need to hold in mind the intent that our thoughts or actions are not our own, but done on behalf of the other person. What a wonderful Christmas gift this would make!

Santa is a representative of the principle of love at work on the astral and in the physical world. We can emulate his wonderful energy by expressing care and love in simple but powerful ways. The atmosphere of the Season gives us many opportunities for openness and sharing that would not normally exist. Christmas makes it acceptable for us to greet people we do not even know with a 'Happy Christmas'. We can take advantage of any opportunity to make contact and spread friendliness and good will. In simple, unobtrusive ways, we have the ability to add something to our world and leave every circumstance a little better than we found it.

Love metaphysically lights up everything it touches. This is evident to anyone with clairvoyant vision. At Christmas, we have many opportunities to act with love and care, spreading the Christmas light as widely as possible. When food is prepared lovingly, it glows with vibrant energy, no matter how simple the dish. The attention we put into our gift-buying or making and the care we take in wrapping them allow the transfer of love and sparkling energy with the physical item. By putting our hearts into our Christmas activities and performing them mindfully yet joyfully, simple physical items such as food, gifts, cards and words of greeting are turned into vessels containing our love, combined with the abundant spiritual love that is available to all in this special Season.