By Congressman Bob Goodlatte
Despite the unusually mild weather outside, the holiday season is well underway: there are icicle lights lining the neighbors’ roofs, wreaths hanging from city street lights, children are lining up in local shopping centers for a picture with Santa, there are parades down our Main Streets, and folks are out looking for those perfect gifts for family and friends. This time of year can seem so hectic, as we rush from task to task attempting to pack in all that must get done into a short amount of time. It is often during this hustle and bustle that the true meaning of Christmas is sometimes forgotten.
This time of year is not about what you can buy in the store or what gifts you receive. It is about the celebration of the birth of Jesus and our religious heritage and freedom. It is about the love that you share with your family and friends and we should remember that this special season represents a time of peace and goodwill to all mankind. But we should also try to find a way to capture this state of mind all year. Long after the Christmas tree has come down we must continue to cherish peace and goodwill. At Christmas we are emboldened by this spirit but we should all seek to carry it on throughout the year.
In President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 Christmas message to the American people he reminded us that “Christmas is a state of mind. It is found throughout the year whenever faith overcomes doubt, hope conquers despair, and love triumphs over hate. It is present when men of any creed bring love and understanding to the hearts of their fellow man. The feeling is seen in the wondrous faces of children and in the hopeful eyes of the aged. It overflows the hearts of cheerful givers and the souls.”
As we spend the next week sharing the Holiday Season with our families and friends, we should reflect on the great blessings that God has bestowed upon our nation and give thanks to our Creator for the blessings of our loved ones. We embrace goodwill and, with all that we can give, we pass on that spirit to others. Now more than ever, we need to share this spirit of Christmas with our fellow citizens who are struggling during these tough economic times.
I hope this season fills you with joy, and I hope you will stay in touch with me as we celebrate the holidays and head in to the new year and the second session of the 112th Congress. You can always be in contact with me by visiting one of my offices which are located throughout the 6th Congressional district or through my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov.
From my family to yours, I wish all of you a safe and joyous Holiday season, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.