The Best of Holiday Seasons

December 22, 2011

In 2011 it is safe to say we have all been through a lot; two hard hitting storms (tropical storm Irene and a vicious October snow storm) a tough year of economic hardship and for many of us personal tragedy. It is easy to let our problems control our lives.

However, it is important to remember that holidays can be a time to remember what matters most: family.
I will be enjoying my grandchildren’s delight in opening cherished gifts and spending time with my wife and children. I hope you will be able to do the same.

I also share with you a part of President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 Christmas address to the nation.

We Americans have always tried to follow a higher light, a star, if you will. At lonely campfire vigils along the frontier, in the darkest days of the Great Depression, through war and peace, the twin beacons of faith and freedom have brightened the American sky. At times our footsteps may have faltered, but trusting in God’s help, we’ve never lost our way.

Just across the way from the White House stand the two great emblems of the holiday season: a Menorah, symbolizing the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, and the National Christmas Tree, a beautiful towering blue spruce from Pennsylvania. Like the National Christmas Tree, our country is a living, growing thing planted in rich American soil. Only our devoted care can bring it to full flower. So, let this holiday season be for us a time of rededication.

Even as we rejoice, however, let us remember that for some Americans, this will not be as happy a Christmas as it should be. I know a little of what they feel. I remember one Christmas Eve during the Great Depression; my father opening what he thought was a Christmas greeting. It was a notice that he no longer had a job.

Over the past year, we’ve begun the long, hard work of economic recovery. Our goal is an America in which every citizen who needs and wants a job can get a job.

But Christmas also reminds us that all children are special, that they are gifts from God, gifts beyond price that mean more than any presents money can buy. In their love and laughter, in our hopes for their future lies the true meaning of Christmas.

So, in a spirit of gratitude for what we’ve been able to achieve together over the past year and looking forward to all that we hope to achieve together in the years ahead….I want to wish you all the best of holiday seasons.