It’s that time of the year when the Christmas excitement is inescapable in its cheer.

Cafés and streets wear the festive décor. Back home, we have been watching Christmas-y films.

We recently watched The Christmas Chronicles. In one of the scenes, the protagonist, a young girl who has managed to enter Santa’s town at the North Pole, discovers a room full of letters sent to Father Christmas by kids all over the world. Ever since, my daughters have written many letters, each with rather long lists of things they want for Christmas.

When I told them Santa would accept only one letter. They discussed with their dad, who googled to discover that Santa would accept up to three letters this year. Everything they ever saw made it to their notes. After writing the third one, my younger one announced that she was finally done. She slept peacefully and was happy to find out that Santa had taken away the letter.

That same evening, we went to the mall. She spotted a toy penguin which would record and playback whatever was said to it. But she had already written the third letter, so she decided it would be on her next year’s Christmas wish list. I was impressed with her self-control and wiseness. Then she spotted a small robot for kids. Noted for next year. Then she saw a cute pup, and she was sure she could take care of it if I agreed to clean the poop. But next year, of course. However, she also saw a magic pen. Elder one saw someone with a Barbie doll that changes colours when in water. And the most irresistible of ’em all — the pop-it bag (we already have a truckload of pop-it items, just FYI)! Next year, next year…

We came back. Had dinner. And they brought out their colours and paper. Because? “Papa googled that Santa has agreed to accept five letters because Santa is happier this year.”

So now we have a whole rim of A4 sheets with Dear Santa scribbled on them in the most eclectic colours and writings. Because? You guessed it!
Santa is happier this year.

And he has agreed to bless our OSME wish lists too! Yay! Get ready for Secret Santa.

All about how to become part of this incredible experience below; but first, some fantastic blogs by members to help you make the most of your life.

Transformative Ideas

Improving Mental Focus and Clarity: “There are two forces in mind: reasoning and emotion. Both are required, and those who can strike a balance lead happy, productive life,” writes Niranjan. In his blog, he discusses the power of negative and positive emotions, and the need for mental energy to sustain focus and clarity of thoughts.

Why Hanuman had to show his Panchamukhi (five-headed) Form?The Ramayana also had another negative character, Mahiravan or Ahiravan. He is the king of Paatal Lok. And he is why Lord Hanuman had to don the Panchmukhi Avatar. All about this interesting episode in Keyur Seta’s blog.

Daily Miracles — My Own Experience and What It Means to MeThose who believe in magic will find it everywhere. Nikunj Verma writes about finding grace and magic on a busy street near a homeless man. This heart-warming blog is a must-read, especially around Christmas!

Holiday within Holiday: Sundaram Venkatesh is the chronicler of everyday life. In this blog, he captures his US stay that got extended because his daughter-in-law god to undergo surgery to remove a blood clot near the brain. It’s a delight to read this blog where he mentions the serious procedure like a casual life blip and focuses on his experience instead. I learnt a lesson!

How Deep Do You Go: The virtues of deep work have become a hot topic recently. Praasshant Dubey dives into the helpful book by Cal Newport called Deep Work to fish out efficient work management tips. I have read the book, and this blog is an excellent start to making acquaintances with this necessary skill. 

Meditation, Mystical Experiences and Your Progress on The Path: Zack Om Bazarnick draws an analogy between hiking a mountain and walking the spiritual path. He answers some questions we have all had when setting out on the journey of the mind & soul. 

Touch: The Good, The Bad!: One in four girls and one in 6 boys experience sexual abuse when they are children. In 90% of the cases, the victims know the perpetrator. This blog by Siddhika Umesh is informative and eye-opening. She visits her childhood and builds on the experience of others to offer ways to stay safe. A good read for parents and kids alike.  

Sadhana: “The correct spiritual practice for you is one that you enjoy and see incremental benefits with as time progresses. It isn’t supposed to be a chore or a competition with others. You should desire to do it because it’s visibly paying off in your life and relationships,” writes John Clark as he builds a strong case for structure, discipline and faith. 

Watch it Now!

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Wisdom from Om Swami

The Spirit of Service: Our willingness to serve than be served is sometimes the only difference between heaven and hell, writes spiritual leader Om Swami. The perfect time to read up on how to take another step towards heaven. 

The Opposite of Kindness: What is the Opposite of kindness? It is not hate. What is kindness? It is not offering them what you think they need. Spiritual leader Om Swami relates a personal incident in this thought-provoking blog. 

The Secret Santa exchange tradition is such a blast! And is upping the ante on this one by making it the World’s Best Secret Santa Ever! A Christmas experience that’s more fun and engaging. Move over gifting, focus on giving. Participate in Secret Santa.

How? For all the information and the link to Secret Santa, don’t forget to check your mail. I’ll send out the newsletter at 4:30 pm and with it, I’ll deliver the link to Secret Santa. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Fine, I’ll also update the link here at 4:30 pm, today.

Update: As promised, here’s your chance to become someone’s Santa.

It’s simple.

Select what you want to gift: an membership or a course. Then choose who you want to gift it to. If you don’t have anyone specific on your mind, let the system suggest names to you.

Bring a smile to someone’s face, gift something that adds value to their life. Visit the secret Santa page here and now!

Let’s add to the fun. I am starting this thread to guess who my Secret Santa is. Let’s all discuss our Santas and gifts here. (W)ho!(W)ho! (W)ho!

Until next…

PS: Did you find this Digest useful? Let me know in the comments. Know someone who’d find it helpful? Share this post with them and introduce your friends and family to our phenomenal Karma program.