Unity founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore understood Christmas as a season of great joy and expectancy but also viewed it as a time for inner celebration when the Christ is born in human hearts.
“The Divine Man, which Jesus brought forth, must be born into the consciousness of the Higher Self, or the Birth of Christ,” Charles Fillmore wrote in “Christmas,” published in the December 1919 issue of Unity magazine.
In the tradition of the season, the Fillmores enjoyed exchanging gifts and spending time with family and friends. They also saw Christmas more in metaphysical terms—beyond the physical birth of Jesus.
“We must perceive the real man is constantly coming forth. This is the meaning of Christmas,” Charles Fillmore wrote in 1919. “It does not belong to the past; it is a vital, living, present Truth. The bringing forth of the Christ child is not a work that is finished in Bethlehem. It is taking place in our midst every day. It is this we celebrate.”
Christmas is about the birth of the Christ consciousness at the center of the human soul, he said, which is the holy place within and a very high attainment.
This new birth is a matter of realization in each soul, Fillmore wrote in the 1919 publication. Everyone must know for himself the “all-encompassing Presence.”
“Be true to the law and watch for the quickening of your spiritual body. Do not leave it to the Herod thoughts, but obey the promptings of the universal Protection; let it be nourished and kept, that you may attain your full stature in Christ. The Divine Life working in you shall become the magnet through which the Divine Good will supply your every need.”
The Fillmores associated the season with strength, peace, light, and joy, and the giving of gifts. However, Myrtle Fillmore, in How to Let God Help You, cautioned against overdoing on gifts, specifically overspending.
“It would be more in conformity with the Christ spirit to use the time in sending out to our friends the joyful thoughts that come spontaneously from the Christ love,” she wrote. “The gift is but the symbol of what we desire for our friends.”
When we identify ourselves with outside things, she said, giving is empty and hollow. She quoted from the Bible, “The gift without the giver is bare.”
It is the true spirit of Christmas that should be cultivated in the home, Myrtle Fillmore wrote.
“It is not the number or the value of the gifts that makes our little ones happy,” she said. “Everything depends upon the interest and livingness with which the children enter into the keeping of Christmas.”
In a 1936 Unity magazine column, “Christmas—Its Scientific Meaning,” Charles Fillmore said the Three Wise Men bringing costly presents to the young child represented the “outpouring of the stored-up riches of the subconscious rushing to add their reserve of wisdom and experience to the upbuilding of the new body, through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
It was in 1917 when Charles Fillmore said we can experience more peace and happiness during the holiday season by helping others to understand the true meaning of the birth of Christ within themselves.
“You can easily do this if you select wisely your Christmas offerings . . . so let your selections be those things that will make the joy of Christ be felt, not only this season, but every hour of all time to come,” he wrote in “Christmas Literature,” published in the December 1917 issue of Unity magazine.