Holiday Message .......

It's here. The holiday that most people look forward to. The crowds, the excitement, the food and exchanging of gifts as well as best wishes. The adrenaline rush is intense. All of this is true. Is Christmas all about those things? Yes. But the real meaning of Christmas, even beyond whatever spiritual belief you have, is togetherness. Be it family or friends. The greatest gift of all it being together. I think back to a time when my son was serving in Iraq and it was my first Christmas without him. It felt empty. No matter how much of the other Christmas festivities went on. There was a void. It's hard enough to have a first Christmas without someone you have lost, but not to have someone who otherwise could be there, is much more difficult.

This year many will feel this void. For the sake of our families, children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren for many, our traditions must go on. So we cope and get through it. Not because of food or gifts, because of love. Love and family cannot be purchased at a store. I have never been to a store and seen a sign in an isle that says, BUY LOVE HERE. It can't be bought. As we go through this holiday season, whatever your situation, remember; The true meaning of Christmas is LOVE and being together. That is the greatest gift anyone can give or receive. That's where my joy comes from. My family and being with the people I love.

To all those that are working on the holiday, to all those serving our country and can't be with their families, and to all those that will be together; I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May God Bless you with the truest meaning of the holiday season. - CJR

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