This year, I've been exploring turning points that shift us into living with joy and purpose, and then bring goodness and love into our world.
Isn't that what Christmas is about?
It's a pretty big turning point in the history of the world that shifted us (or at least intended to shift us) into light, love and peace. The Gregorian calendar - one that has been used as an unofficial global standard for a while now - has always been centered around that turning point.
Every year as Christmas comes around, we collectively try to bring more of that light, love and peace into our world. We decorate our surroundings in ways that visually represent this 'special' time, we make delicious food that gathers us all together and nourishes our bodies, we create art and music that tell stories of the faith and miracles that accompanied the First Christmas, we wait for Santa Claus to deliver his gifts - presents which symbolically represent God's gift to humanity. Presents that hold love and a message: I see you, I care about you, I love you. You matter.
When on Christmas morning children run down the stairway and look under the tree, that is what deep within their hearts they are looking for: a wish come true, a present that's more than just a thing. Wrapped in love, representing to them someone that cares for them. Someone that says: "I love you... I see you... You matter."
This message is what I believe we are all called to do, not only on Christmas but on every day of the year.
So I invited a few guests to share their ways to give, uplift, love and care for our world in this special episode of Waking Up in America filmed in Nashville and filled with great music.
Krys Midgett, founder of Give a Little Nashville, showcases artists and their causes in her magazine of the same name. She talks about what drives her to collect toys for kids whose parents can't afford presents.
Brett Swayn, founder of "The Cookery," teaches the homeless how to cook and work in commercial kitchens, and tells us about his favorite Christmas meal.
Country singer and actor Waylon Payne (whom you might know from the movie Walk the Line) shares his story about his drug addiction and explains how the Christmas holidays can be hard for those who are struggling with this illness.
Keisha Olds, founder of Spoilt Magazine, talks about the importance of guilt-free self-care during the busy season.
Brian Hanson and Michael Alvey Trio play heart-warming Christmas music as my guests and I sing.
And I give a list of my favorite Christmas gifts (some that cost money, some that are absolutely free) but all of which are focused on sharing beautiful moments together, creating experiences that say: I love you, you matter.
Waking Up In America is a weekly talk show featuring guests from a variety of backgrounds - athletic champions, social entrepreneurs, recognized authors and influencers who have experienced transformational turning points in their lives. Watch at Wakingupinamerica.net
DISCLOSURE: I didn't receive any services or goods in the process of writing this blog.