Back to the Basics12/23/2016
Christmas has a way of bringing us back to the basics. For me, that means counting my blessings, especially when it comes to faith and family. It’s a time that brings back memories of my youth, or when my now-grown children would sing in the kid’s Christmas program at church. Yes, Christmas time is special for Arkansans young and old.
Each of us have our own holiday traditions. On Christmas Eve, many will retell the Christmas Story of Christ’s coming to the little town of Bethlehem. Others will prepare to light the first candle of the Hanukkah candelabra to celebrate the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. Later this month, I will attend the Menorah Lighting Ceremony in Little Rock to kick-off the Festival of Lights. Regardless of how you celebrate this wonderful time of year, I hope that you are joined by those you care for most.
The holiday season often brings out the best in people. I encourage you to find ways to serve someone who is less fortunate and practice goodwill toward our fellow man. Consider giving not only presents, but giving your time to the needy and neglected. Write a card to a shut-in, volunteer at your local soup kitchen or bake some goodies for a friend.
Everyone can find some way to celebrate Christmas not only this week, but throughout the year. Give unexpected gifts to people you care about. Tell your coworkers or family members that you appreciate them. Show kindness to others, even if it’s something as simple as buying them a cup of coffee.
I’ve said it before, but Arkansans are some of the kindest and most giving people around. One of the best perks of being governor is getting to meet Arkansans from all walks of life. We know how to give and are ready to lend a helping hand. I see that mentality in every corner of our great state throughout the year, especially leading up to Christmas.
In the words of Winston Churchill, “Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing, but of reflection.” I hope each of you will reflect upon your blessings, get back to the basics and rejoice that we are able to call Arkansas home.
As governor – from my family to yours – Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and have a blessed holiday season.