A wish for peace and goodwill

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By Congressman Bob Goodlatte

The holiday season is well underway: the streets are snow-covered, there are lights on our neighbors’ window sills, 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 or overlooked.

This time of year is not about what you can buy in the store or what gifts you receive, but about the love that you share with your family and friends.  We should remember that this special season represents a time of peace and goodwill to all mankind.  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.”

No matter where we go this time of year, we see this spirit in action - at the mall we see volunteers ringing bells, at our places of worship we see angel trees, and all of our interactions end with the well-wishing of “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.”   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 our Commonwealth, 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, 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.  At Christmas we are emboldened by this spirit but we should all seek to carry it on throughout the year.

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 start of a new Congress.  You can always be in contact with me by visiting my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov. 

From my family to yours, I wish all of you a joyous Holiday season, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.