Best wishes for a joyous Christmas

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By Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Everywhere you look it is clear that Christmas is here. Christmas carols play on the radio, store windows are filled with elaborate displays, parades make their way down the street, and children line up to meet Santa Claus.


However, in the rush of the holiday season, we often lose sight of the true gift of Christmas. It is not found in the stores or the shopping malls, but in the Nativity story that transpired so long ago. At this time of Christmas, we celebrate the greatest gift of all, the birth of Jesus Christ. Throughout this special season of peace and goodwill, we are reminded of this gift as well as the love of family and friends and the promise of hope for the future.


This Christmas, even after the presents are unwrapped and the ornaments have been put away, let’s continue to take hold of the joy Christmas offers. We have so much to be thankful for in this nation and the hope for tomorrow is already here.


As President Ronald Reagan said in his 1981 Christmas message to the American people, “Christmas is a state of mind. It is found throughout the year whenever faith overcomes doubt, hope conquers despair, and love triumphs over hate…Let us resolve to honor this spirit of Christmas and strive to keep it throughout the year.”


While we come together with family and friends this week to celebrate the spirit and gifts of Christmas, it is also important to remember those who defend our religious freedoms and liberties that make the very celebration of this season possible. This holiday season many of our military personnel may find themselves far from the comforts of their homes and their families. I am grateful for their service. It is also important to remember some folks who are too often forgotten – the wives, husbands, parents, children, and other relatives of our troops. These family members must carry on while their loved ones are away, which can be especially hard during the holiday season.


As we share the holiday season with our families and friends, let us reflect on the great blessings that God has bestowed upon our nation and remember the sacrifices of all of those who strive to make this nation a better place to live. I also encourage you to take a moment to remember the need for that “Christmas state of mind” throughout the year.


From my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  May the peace and joy of this Christmas fill your heart and may God continue to bless the United States of America.