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Peace and goodwill to all

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By Congressman Bob Goodlatte

This is a blessed season marked by the company of family and friends, a child-like anticipation of presents under the tree, and perhaps even the hope of a midnight snowfall.   It is a season rooted in traditions and celebrations of all kinds. 

The holidays can seem so hectic and can quickly pass us by as we rush from task to task attempting to pack in so much in a short amount of time.  This year, more so than in years past, families are trying to plan their holiday festivities on much stricter budgets.  In the hustle and bustle of completing holiday tasks and the added stress over tighter budgets the true meaning of Christmas can easily be overlooked or forgotten.

However, this time of year is not about what you can or cannot buy in the store, but about the love that you share with your family and friends.  We should remember the holiday season represents a time of peace and goodwill to all.  Our 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, said it well “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”  Now more than ever, we need to share this spirit of Christmas with our fellow citizens, our neighbors who are struggling during these tough economic times.  And we must also try to find a way to capture this state of mind all year, long after the Christmas tree has come down, and continue to cherish peace and goodwill and be plenteous in our mercy toward others.

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 should also pause to remember the sacrifices of all of those who make this nation a better place to live - especially those brave men and women who are on the front lines in faraway lands, defending our freedoms.  This Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, let's make a point of remembering those who dedicate their lives to keeping the peace for all of us.

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.  You can always be in contact with me by visiting my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov.    

From my family to yours, I wish you a blessed Holiday Season, a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with Peace and Goodwill.