By Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford
Christmas time has always been one of my favorite holidays: it’s a time of giving to others; a time for visiting with family, some of whom we haven’t seen in a year or more; and, most importantly for me as a Christian, Christmas time is a time to honor and praise our lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
This time of the year is always a wonderful one. Friends and family gather, remembering the miracle of Christmas, and remembering that this is a time of magic for the children. Seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child, especially one in that preschool to elementary school age range, when the mystery of Santa is still alive and well, is one of my favorite things! Their excitement and innocence brings pure joy to my heart.
It is easy to forget that excitement and the true reason for the season when we are rushing around traveling from one place to the next, trying to fit in finding the perfect gift for everyone while still getting together with those we love. Fitting in all the fun parts of the season, like school Christmas pageants, while still working jobs to help pay for that perfect gift, can be overwhelming. But in the end, all adults know it will be worth it when we see the smiles on our children’s and loved ones’ faces. As the Christmas carol says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
I love to give gifts, and not just at Christmas. One of the best parts of my job as a State Representative is delivering grant money to schools and community projects, like a recent $5,000 grant to Attalla Elementary School to help improve their playground. I was able to attend the school’s Christmas celebration and present the grant. Moments like those are why I feel it’s important to be a State Representative. After all, I serve the people of Alabama, and I know no better way of serving the people than by helping to ensure our state’s children are getting the best education they can. And what kid doesn’t need to burn off a little steam and get some good exercise while they are at it? Christmas is the perfect time to help children in this way! Can you imagine, finding out your school is a getting a new playground at Christmas? I saw a lot of wishes come true that night.
This Christmas I also have many wishes for Alabama; wishes like the creation of a statewide lottery, and a real solution to the job crisis here in our state. I plan to work tirelessly during the legislative session in 2015 to make those wishes come true.
But this year, my main wish is, hopefully, a little more easily achieved. I wish that each family in Alabama not only remembers the reason for the season, but also is able to gather around the tree, dining room table, or wherever your family may choose, and celebrate, eat some cookies, unwrap some gifts and hug each other a little tighter.
From my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.