THE BLOG
12/18/2012 05:31 pm ET | Updated Feb 17, 2013

Noel : An Unexpected Christmas Tale

'Tis the season! It's officially the time of year that seems to drum up more deep and powerful emotions than any other. Along with Santa Claus and magical holiday décor, the Christmas season powerfully elicits memories of holidays gone by. The season can evoke a longing to connect with loved ones, and the stress of holiday obligations is at an all-time high. So what's the one thing we can expect each holiday season? To expect the unexpected. Noel is a holiday movie that proves this point precisely. Starring Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, Penelope Cruz and Paul Walker, Noel gets you prepped to be as flexible, accepting and gracious as possible during the season.

What's unique about this holiday film are its unexpected plot twists and coincidental connections that no one sees coming. The two main story lines follow Susan Sarandon as Rose Collins, recently divorced and tending to her sick mother on Christmas Eve, and Penelope Cruz and Paul Walker as Nina and Mike, an engaged couple who've hit a rough patch with their wedding set for just one week away. While the story lines are already emotional, it's the addition of characters who suddenly appear in the most unsuspecting ways that gives Noel its surprising moments of serendipity. This is definitely one of those movies that leaves you saying, "I didn't see that one coming!"

Forgiveness Is a Gift
I thoroughly enjoyed the relatability of Noel's overall message. Forgiveness is one of life's most powerfully-driven lessons, as I've just recently learned in my own life, and it's one that can truly transform and heal. Noel is a wonderful reminder that we can use this time of year to provide healing to ourselves and others. Ask yourself, is there anyone you can offer forgiveness to this holiday season? It could end up being the greatest gift of all.

Presence Over Presents
While we should be generous with providing love year round, there's something about the holidays that makes people's hearts yearn for added gentleness, care and compassion. Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle put it best when he explained that our "pain-bodies," an accumulation of old emotional pain, seem to inevitably emerge during holidays, because we tend to live these moments more in the past rather than the present.

As we spend precious time with both loved ones and strangers this holiday season, it's my holiday wish for us all to do our very best in remaining present and allowing our compassion to expand. Being truly present and appreciating what the holidays bring can supply more joy than any material item. Breathing in forgiveness and compassion, and breathing out emotional pain: this is my ultimate Christmas recipe!

GaiamTV.com Ambassador Alyson Charles is an AM and FM radio host and television producer. She lends her passions, inspirations and self-help knowledge to her readers on www.InAWEwithALY.com, supplying you with all the tips and secrets for creating your most magical life!