From the quiet hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our great nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.
The state Capitol is covered in Christmas lights, and the halls are decked with holly and silver bells and a giant Christmas tree.
It looks a lot like Christmas, but unlike past years, it doesn’t sound like Christmas. It is silent inside the Capitol.
Usually, school children from all across Arkansas travel to fill the Capitol rotunda with the sound of Christmas carols.
The school tours were canceled this year, because of the need to protect the health and safety of students, teachers, school bus drivers and parents.
The canceling of a beloved Christmas tradition is just one of the many ways in which our lives have been affected by the pandemic.
Families will miss seeing some of their loved ones, and there won’t be as many chairs and place settings around the table.
It will be a Christmas to remember.
But Americans are tough people, and my faith in our resilience is stronger than ever. I believe that we will make it a Christmas to remember for all the right reasons.
Families will connect in new ways, like Zoom and Skype. People will connect in old-fashioned ways, like talking on the telephone instead of texting.
Never underestimate the strength and determination of Arkansas families. We will figure out how to celebrate and enjoy the Christmas holiday with our loved ones.
Christmas will be different this year, of course. If I know the people of Arkansas, it will be all the more special.
As Americans, we enjoy a multitude of blessings and the freedom to celebrate Christmas is at the top of the list.
At the heart of every holiday tradition is the reason for the season – we’re commemorating the birth of Jesus, and that means Christmas is first and foremost a season of worship.
Whatever difficulties may come our way this Christmas season, as Americans we are free to worship as we choose. That is a gift to cherish all year long.
From the Capitol, and from my family to yours, I hope your Christmas is filled with love and holiday cheer, this is Senator Keith Ingram.