After an extremely busy fall, Christmas is happily upon us again. Regardless of our religion or beliefs, Christmas is a very special time of year when we can come together, appreciate and celebrate with our loved ones the joy and peace of the holidays.
All too often we (I am including myself) can get caught up in the less than peaceful material side of Christmas – the last minute shopping, late night wrapping, and the baking and cooking – that it is easy to lose sight of what makes this time of year so special.
Christmas is about spending time with our loved ones – especially those who we are unable to see as often as we would like – and remembering those we have lost. It is about helping those who are less fortunate, whether though volunteering or by giving back to the many worthy causes which lend a helping hand to those in our communities. Thanks to all of you who contribute in your own way to making our country a better place. You go to work to provide for your families and our country. You make our world a better place and we appreciate what you do!
And a special thanks to our men and women in uniform at home and those overseas not able to be home with their loved ones so that we may spend our time with family and friends in peace. A peace that is beyond the reach of so many around the world and that we are truly blessed to have.
It is also a time to celebrate and give thanks for what the previous year has brought us, while looking forward with hope to what the future has in store.
I’ll finish by repeating some timeless words that have remained with us over the centuries that remind us of the reason for the season.
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’” Luke 2:8-14 (NKJV)
From my family and staff to all of you, Merry Christmas.