Weekly Address... Merry Christmas!

From the historic hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.


If you happen to be in Little Rock or central Arkansas over the holidays, I strongly recommend that you visit the state Capitol.


Of course, it’s a wonderful place to visit all year round.


But during the Christmas season, when it is decorated with red banners and green garlands, the Capitol is one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see.


It will put you in the Christmas spirit, no matter how old you are.


The tree in the rotunda is enormous, and beautifully decorated. On the second floor there is a Santa’s workshop that is meant for the kids, but I enjoy it as much as they do.


There’s a bit of Christmas magic in the Capitol. I think it’s because when you walk out, you feel better than when you walked in.


It’s like what happens in The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, or the Grinch by Dr. Seuss.


At the beginning, both Ebeneezer Scrooge and the Grinch are a couple of grouches who hate Christmas. By the end of the story, they are filled with Christmas spirit and they have changed to where they truly love other people.


I guess that’s why I like the Christmas holidays – they tend to bring out the best in people.


Some years I get so caught up in being a Senator and running a business that my family calls me a Grinch, and I hate to say it but it’s true.


But eventually I get the Christmas spirit, and I’m always glad I did.


Christmas brings out the best in us, like it did to Scrooge and the Grinch.


It is a time of great joy.


Many of our loved ones will be busy on Christmas Day, and we owe them thanks for staffing hospitals, police stations and fire departments.


Almost everyone has a loved one stationed overseas, serving in the armed forces. Let’s not forget them during this special season.


Our senior citizens centers are filled with people who cherish their Christmas memories. A visit from loved ones would be a wonderful gift, and a reminder that they are still in our thoughts and in our hearts.


Our shelters and food banks rely on our generosity all year long, and especially during the Christmas holidays.


A wonderful Christmas contribution would be to make a commitment to continue giving and volunteering throughout the year.


Again, if you’re in central Arkansas, try to visit the Capitol. It is your building, and within its walls your elected representatives govern in your name.


And when it’s decorated for Christmas, the Capitol embodies our brightest hopes and our fondest wishes.


From my family to yours, I wish you a Christmas filled with love and joy.


From the Capitol, it is always my great honor and sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.