It is once again that time of the year. December is here and with it come all of the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Every holiday season, I have always found it important to look back at the year prior and reflect upon the many blessings afforded to my family. I believe that the greatest gifts of all are family, friends, safety and the opportunity to celebrate the holidays in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
The word “Christmas” itself is Old English which translates to “Christ’s Mass”. The annual commemoration of the birth of the Lord is observed by millions each year through the hanging of lights and garland, caroling, nativity scenes and pine trees. My family enjoys our tradition of making Christmas candy together to give to our neighbors and family. We love spending time together and reflecting on stories from when our children were younger. I can still remember their anxious faces when they woke up on Christmas morning, ready to see what Santa had brought them while they slept.
My family also enjoys the Christmas celebrations at the Statehouse. Not only is a 12 foot tree donated to the capitol building, but it is decorated with ornaments made by Hoosier students depicting various symbols and emblems of Indiana. Children are invited to attend the annual “tree trimming ceremony” at the Statehouse to place their ornament on the tree and listen to a story ready by the First Lady.
The year of 2012 has brought us many hardships. We have seen a terrible storm ravage the East Coast, and most recently, a tragic loss of family and children in Connecticut. As we gather together around the tree and in churches, may we remember all of the things we are thankful for. After all, Christmas is the time to celebrate these blessings with loved ones and those closest to us.
May the closeness of friends, the comfort of home, and the unity of our nation renew your spirits this holiday season. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and yours.