Hello and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukah, and Happy Festivus to you all! My heart felt wishes go out to each of you across the miles and across the wireless wonder of digital communication that keeps us all in touch.
In the coming new year, I wish you all the joys that come with having loved ones around you; I wish for you close companions and a circle of friends to keep you happy and laughing. I wish you solace in times of pain, and I promise my support when your spirit needs uplifting. I wish you the peace and calm in your heart that comes with giving back and loving others. I wish you fun in your life, whether it comes from a thrilling run down a mountain, a wild ride down a river, or a meandering walk down the street. I wish you quiet and peaceful times, too, when reﬂecting on life’s goodness is all you need to be truly happy. And I wish for you something that’s been hard to feel for some time: hope.
I hope for an end to this war and the avoidance of new ones; for a solid, intelligent plan to lead us out of a difﬁcult economy; for civil rights restored and extended to all–not just some; and for no more torture under the guise of protection. The restoring power of hope makes it possible to feel good about our country and our future again. It is real. And it is mighty. I hope that it touches you and lifts you up.
I look forward—with hope—to another interesting, fun, active, and surprising year. And I wonder—what will 2009 bring? Visits to dear friends? Visits from family? An unexpected discovery? New friends? New babies? Reunions with old friends and family, all of whom I appreciate more with each passing year?
I’ll see. On New Year’s Eve, I’ll raise a toast to each of you, wherever you are, and my heart will send you all the love, joy, peace and hope that your heart can hold.
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