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COLUMN: The True Meaning of Christmas

December 21, 2015
Weekly Column and Op-Ed
By Rep. Dan Newhouse

Christmas time is a season of hope and a joy-filled time spent with family and friends. It’s a time to be generous as we take stock of our many blessings as Americans. It’s a time to trim the tree and take a drive around the neighborhood to see Christmas lights. It’s a time to sit together around a cozy fireplace. (For some—perhaps it’s a time of last-minute gift shopping.) Filled stockings hang over the fireplace, and wrapped presents lie under the tree. In Central Washington in particular, we farmers watch expectantly for plenty of snow to blanket the mountains to keep our water reservoirs full in the coming year.

Amidst the traditions of the season that we treasure, we take a moment to ponder the true meaning of Christmas. President Ronald Reagan’s Christmas address to the nation in 1981 reminds Christians that we celebrate the true meaning of the holiday: the birth of Jesus and a new season of love and hope for the world:

“Christmas means so much because of one special child. But Christmas also reminds us that all children are special, that they are gifts from God, gifts beyond price that mean more than any presents money can buy. In their love and laughter, in our hopes for their future lies the true meaning of Christmas.”

For those of us who are blessed to live in beautiful Central Washington, there is much for which we are grateful. We are free to observe holy days as our conscience, not the government, dictates.

I am reminded of the wonderful families I have met the past year, and especially the veterans who have served our country faithfully. We are blessed to have men and women of good character and integrity defending our nation every day. I ask that you join me in saying a prayer and honoring the faithfulness of our men and women in uniform overseas who are protecting our freedoms, instead of gathering at home with loved ones this holiday season.

For people all around the world we wish blessings of a spirit of joy, hope and of love. After a busy year of working in Congress, I will be grateful to be home in Sunnyside to spend the holiday. From my family to yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. I hope you will join me in prayers this season for a safe, united, and hopeful United States of America.