Christmas is a special time of year for so many reasons.
Most importantly, it is the time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is truly the reason for the season, and every day I am grateful for the miracle of His birth and the salvation that He has given us.
Christmas is also a time to be thankful for all that we have been blessed with and to help those who are struggling and in need.
There are so many people and families out there who have been hit by hard times or have lost so much, and it can be especially hard for them during the holidays.
I am grateful that God has blessed me and put me in a position where I can give back to others.
I am also grateful to live in a place where so many people regularly open their hearts and their wallets to help those in need – not just during this time of year, but all year round.
And there are so many ways we can give back during the holidays.
Most of us make financial donations to our churches or charities like the local food bank or the Salvation Army.
We might donate toys, old clothes or canned foods as well. But we can also donate our time and visit with people in the hospital or a nursing home who will not be home for the holidays.
I think it is also important that we thank our public servants – the doctors and nurses, firefighters, law enforcement officers and others – who are giving up time with their families to take care of us during the holidays.
And certainly at this time of year our thoughts and prayers are with those in our military and the government who are overseas and away from their families while they are fighting to protect our country, as well as their families here at home who are having to spend the holidays without their loved ones.
The freedom we have because of the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform is one of the most precious gifts we can be grateful for this Christmas.
I also love Christmas because it is a season for peace and joy; a time to be with friends and family, and to put aside the problems of the world.
With so many problems in the world and the seemingly never-ending political fights in Montgomery and Washington, I think it is important that we have this time of year when we can put aside the problems and the fighting and instead focus on what really matters in life.
So this holiday season, I want to say thank you to all those who have made sacrifices for our country and our community.
I want to thank those who have given financially or given their time to help those in need during the holidays.
I am thankful to the people of Etowah Coun-ty for giving me the opp-ortunity to represent you in the state legislature.
Most of all, I am thankful for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and for this time when we celebrate the miracle of His birth
And from my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!