By Rep. Darrio Melton
Christmas is just around the corner, and I hope everyone has been able to finish their last minute grocery and gift shopping. I know my family is ready to spend some quiet time together, enjoying one another’s company, relaxing and preparing for the new year.
I don’t know if it’s felt this way to you, but this holiday season has seemed especially stressful.
With all of the stress over cuts to unemployment benefits and the SNAP program, the fight over Medicaid expansion, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and a few people very concerned about Duck Dynasty, it’s been easy to lose focus on what matters this holiday season.
But as we welcome the birth of Jesus Christ, we also welcome the New Year, which makes this a time to pause and reflect on where we want to be at this point in 2014, as an individual, as a family and as a community.
With the new year and another celebration of His birth, we have another opportunity to wipe the slate clean and have a fresh start.
This Christmas, as you gather around the table with friends and family, take a moment to look at the faces and feel the love that surrounds you. Take a moment to appreciate all that you are and all that you have. And take a moment to think about how you can share that feeling all year and make the world a better place in 2014.
On Thanksgiving, I wrote about giving thanks by giving back. Let’s keep that going through the Holiday season and into the New Year. Let’s pay every blessing forward and make each day a little easier on someone around us.
Charity and kindness are not just a holiday fashion. Celebrate the magical spirit of the holidays all year long. Pause and reflect about where you want you, your family and your community to go in 2014, then be the change that makes it happen.
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and happy new year!
Representative Darrio Melton is a Democrat from Selma. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2010.