Scientology Media Advisory: The Scientology Religion and the Holiday Season
At this time of year, media often ask how Scientologists observe the holiday season. To answer that question, the Church of Scientology International provides the following:
How do Scientologists celebrate the holiday season?
Observances of the holidays are as diverse as Scientologists are.
Because the Scientology religion is practiced in 165 countries and territories, Scientologists come from a wide variety of faiths and cultural traditions.
But no matter what their background, they, like most people, gather with loved ones to enjoy the warmth of friends and family and celebrate the joy of the season.
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard honored the great religious leaders of the past for the wisdom they brought to the world, writing that Scientology shares “the goals set for Man by Christ, which are wisdom, good health and immortality.” It is in this spirit that Scientologists celebrate the holiday season, whether Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa or any other religious or cultural tradition.
Scientologists live by a code which includes: "To use the best I know of Scientology to the best of my ability to help my family, friends, groups and the world." During the holiday season, Scientologists are especially active in this respect, volunteering in a wide range of endeavors to improve the lives of individuals and the community and bring joy to those who may need assistance.
What do Churches of Scientology do during the holiday season?
In addition to regular Scientology religious services, Churches of Scientology provide many special holiday activities for Scientologists and open houses and tours for members of the community.
Scientology Churches and their parishioners also organize and support numerous charitable events during the holidays, such as toy drives, food and clothing collections, and parties for underprivileged children. Scientologists visit nursing homes, orphanages, hospitals and homeless shelters, bringing holiday cheer through gifts and entertainment.
The Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood produces Christmas Stories, an annual holiday benefit performance presented in the style of a 1930s radio show with traditional and original stories, songs and skits. (http://www.scientology.cc) This year’s cast included Anne Archer, Jennifer Aspen, Eric Balfour, Erika Christensen, Jason Dohring, Jenna Elfman, Juliette Lewis, Marisol Nichols and Ethan Suplee.
For nearly two decades, proceeds have benefited the Hollywood Police Activities League’s annual Christmas party for underprivileged children and PAL’s year-round inner city programs for at-risk youth.
In an annual tradition beginning in 1983 when Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard provided a 60-foot Christmas tree as a gift to the people of Hollywood, Winter Wonderland holiday village is erected each year on Hollywood Boulevard as a service to the community. The opening of the village on the Sunday after Thanksgiving signals the start of the holiday season, when Santa arrives in his sleigh—always the final float in the famed Hollywood Christmas Parade—and lights the tree and village. Made possible by the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard Foundation, Winter Wonderland, attracts more than 40,000 Los Angeles residents and tourists to daily live performances by community vocal and instrumental groups and snow banks imported for the season.
Winter Wonderland is also presented for three weeks each December in Clearwater, Florida, as a service to the community and to benefit needy children. The Church of Scientology and parishioners organize and sponsor the Christmas village, with ten of thousands of residents and tourists enjoying Santa, Mrs. Claus’s cookie decorating kitchen, live entertainment by local school, church and professional performing groups, a petting zoo and pony rides. (http://www.clearwatercommunityvolunteers.org/winterwonderland.html)