Christmas Presence

First of All: HAPPY 2 WEEK BIRTHDAY MY BEAUTIFUL BABY CELESTE – LOVE YOU!

We make choices that make us beautiful on the inside and outside.

My idea of Christmas Presence involves deep diving into that infinite, though ever underutilized, Santa bag inside of our hearts. Jesus, the Christmas birthday child, had one installed in every soul without consulting us. He made sure that our bag of Christmas Presence would be ingeniously powered by the simple practice of observation. Some people are rockin’ their bag like a super hero while others are still learning that they possess a brilliant capacity to bring intense joy in others. We can easily discover what would mean the world to a total stranger or a best friend by simply being present/awake enough to listen, notice, care, and act. That’s where the magic of giving resides. I’m always blown away when a complete stranger lays his/her on the spot Christmas Presence skills on me. The smallest thing could have the biggest effect. Case in point – Rick and I have been trying to be extra disciplined with money (can you relate?). We were sitting in a fast food diner after church eating our breakfast special coupons and I was hungrier than what the coupon had to offer. I know! But I skip early breakfasts on Sundays so by then I want to eat everything in sight. I asked an employee (not a server) who was bringing food out if she knew how much an English muffin would cost. She didn’t know. Five minutes later she was back with a muffin. Since I hadn’t ordered one, I was surprised. I asked her what I owed her and she smiled and said, Not a thing, I got it, and she shook my pinky. Whaaa?! She blessed me on so many levels without even realizing how many. She disappeared, but I had to find her and thank her before we left the place to show my gratitude. Her smile told me that she felt very appreciated. The affection of the smallest gifts that come from the greatest place cannot be measured. They last forever.

Christmas Presence takes us to a place where we know that the of elation sparked by giving our love to others is so much sweeter than drooling over a new electronic toy or fashionable bling from some wish list that’s been building up in my head. In fact, last month my sister (who lives across the country) called me from an artisan fair. She asked if she could text me a photo of a purse that was machine washable for people with certain allergies – like me. Her intention was to buy it for me if I deemed it worthy. Forget about the purse, I felt so loved! I was overjoyed for the rest of the day. Since the the chic little purse wasn’t my style, I asked her not buy it, but in my heart she gave me the perfect gift! The fact that she was thinking about me, my health, my needs, etc., it meant the world! It’s the heart not the actual gift that makes everything so special. I think of receiving in these simple-brilliant ways as training for me to give in similar and far bigger ways too. I pray to emulate the timely, perceptive, and creative giving that God has shown me and whispered into my ear. I think about the babe we received on Christmas who grew up to say, “Do this in memory of me,” i.e., follow His inexhaustible passion for giving.

I couldn’t resist wrapping this up by sharing my new fave tune by Jadon Lavik from his “Life on the Inside” album. Sorry its not a traditional Christmas song, but you’ll see why it rocks the big picture!

Merry Christmas to all and may you indulge your family, friends,and total strangers with a full year of Christmas Presence!

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About Light Stream

Casandra Moreno Lombera is an author, blogger, and Emmy nominated television producer who grew up in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver communities. In junior high school, she promised her single mother that she would get straight A’s in order to graduate early and help her relocate to Aurora, Colorado. She did… and though women and Latinas were scarcely visible in television, she dreamed of a future in broadcast journalism. From an early age, Casandra wanted children and loved to write. She began her career in television (writing and reporting on camera) at the age of 18. She also began raising two very successful children as a single mom. Throughout her career, she became an award winning, television producer/program creator (receiving both the Imagen and Golden Eagle Awards); was executive producer of both public affairs and children’s programming at KWHY-TV, Channel 22; and worked on camera hosting public affairs talk shows for many years. More distinctive opportunities came her way, however her desire to write children’s books and to blaze new trails in the publishing world became irrepressible. Her dreams today focus on empowering youth, writing (particularly about God’s love for them), and raising money for the impoverished through organizations like Hope Worldwide https://www.hopeww.org/sslpage.aspx. Throughout her life, she has been passionate about hands-on giving to the community and has received many forms of appreciation (including a congressional commendation) for her efforts. She has served on several boards including Communications Bridge Institute, training disadvantaged youth in television production; St. Anne’s, building futures for at risk teens and unwed mothers; HOPE, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality; the American Diabetes Association fund raising committee; and the Consumer Advisory Committee for the California Contractors State Licensing Board. Casandra is also a recipient of La Opinion’s 2012 Mujeres Destacadas (Exceptional Women) Award. She is completely smitten with her husband, two children, and four grand babies who inspired Light Riders. Follow her @casandratweets and @Lightersbook on Twitter. Her blog is at http://www.shewentthere.wordpress.com. Direct Contact: Lightridersbook@gmail.com
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6 Responses to Christmas Presence

  1. Desi *Pinki* says:

    Wow!!! Amen, I am so encouraged to be privileged enough to enjoy your insightful super awesome words on ANY and EVERY subject. I am also super grateful to have the gift of your PRESENCE in my life since 2005. I love you so much! 🙂 You know I know what it’s like to be in that, “how much for a small fry? Good Lord that’s a lot of $….can I just get a single fry?”, situation. The Lord provides…

    P.S. Jadon Lavik is Awesome! 🙂

    • Love you so much Princess Pinki! Thank you for being the first to comment and fill me up with your super special, one-of-a-kind Spirit of Christmas Presence and I love how you make me laugh xoxoxo! Would love to see you again soon. We now have a couch for you to enjoy LOL. I am hooked on The Band Perry because of you!

  2. Mom says:

    You are so right mija; it’s not what we get but what we give. Showing someone love in the way of meeting their needs or offering them support, emotional or otherwise, is far better than handing them a wrapped package. Love is a gift from the heart that says “I am here for you”, and that is by far of so much greater value than anything else. I love you mija! Mom

    • Thank you Mom! You’re a spot on translator 🙂 Hmm, I wonder if it’s because you’re my Mom? LOL! Thank you for raising me right by being the best example of giving to all!!! I love you ♥ ♥ ♥

  3. Cyndie Soto says:

    If inspiration was a commodity you’d corner the market! You probably have no idea how many peoples lives you’ve enriched, hearts you’ve touched or minds you’ve motivated. You also just proved a point in your example of the muffin…”ask and you shall receive”. She may have been wondering what nice thing she could do for someone this holiday season and then you appeared to give her the opportunity to act on her desire. Believe me, it’s totally possible. I for one count myself fortunate to not only know you, but also be your sister. You constantly inspire me with your generosity and year long Christmas Presence.
    Love you.
    BTW, I will find you a washable purse, even if I have to make it myself 🙂

    • Thank you so much Mana! You made me cry and you’re so good at doing that!!!♥ You leave me speechless and you know that takes a special kind of mojo (which you have) for that to happen! LOL. Love you xoxoT and thank you for encouraging and inspiring me to write! 🙂

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