Today is Christmas, and our hope is that you found everything you wished for when you awoke to begin the day.
We realize that Dec. 25 may not have the same meaning for you that it does for us, but no matter: This is a day to seek common ground, not to emphasize differences.
It is a day to share the warmth of family and friendship in preparation for the new year that is about to get under way.
It is a day for adults to remember the joys of youth and for the young to dream of what may be possible, of what could lie beyond those things that can be seen.
And it is a day of reflection, a time to consider the blessings that we have received and thank those who have done so much to enrich our lives.
We hope that you are close to your loved ones today, but we also urge you to reach out to those who are not so lucky. We encourage you to call on those who are lonely and brighten their day with a gift of your time and attention.
As we said, it is a day of sharing, and sometimes, the most important gifts are not those of great monetary value, but rather the simple benefits of a kind smile and a caring attitude.
Remember those who are tired today, those who work in the service of public good as police officers, firefighters and medical personnel, or the countless folks who labor behind the scenes to keep our utilities up and running, the gas pumps flowing and the store shelves stocked so that the rest of us can be warm and well fed and enjoy our holiday travels.
Give them a smile and a friendly wave today, or stop for a moment to offer them a handshake and a sincere thank you for all they do this day and every day. Pause for a while to visit and let them know how much they are appreciated.
And never forget those who now serve and have served in the military to keep our nation free.
Keep them and their families close to your heart today.
And don’t forget those who have worked through the last few weeks to make the holiday season brighter for the less fortunate — the folks who have organized gift and clothing drives, manned the red kettles and restocked the food banks.
They are the angels who make this a true day of wonder for so many, but their work and sacrifices often go unnoticed. Look around you and seek them out; tell them how much you appreciate their labors of love.
Most of us believe that love is — or should be — the true meaning of Christmas. We may disagree on the details, but we can share in the spirit of the message.
We hope that message reaches you today and that you share it with others.