Hope, the Holidays, and the Power of Belief
The holidays are a magical time. It’s when families come together. It’s when children’s eyes light up as they await the arrival of Santa Claus with gleeful anticipation. It’s when the older generation looks back with fondness and warmth on moments to treasure.
And, most important, it’s a time for hope and belief. When hope springs eternal. And knowing as we do that hope – when fully formed – can crystallize into belief. Not just a fuzzy belief – but actual faith. Faith in the positivity of the future.
And, this is when we see what appear to be miracles. So, when Christmas comes upon us – and we wish well to all that we meet, let’s make a commitment to live the miracle of the holidays throughout the year. Let’s have hope in a better tomorrow. Tomorrow after tomorrow. Let’s embrace the belief that we can achieve and live a life of love and kindness. Then, most of all – let’s live a life with full faith that our fellow man can brighten the world with warmth, gratitude and giving. The holidays are a special time. If we truly ‘believe,’ then all is possible. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our wonderful friends.
Christmas is a Special Time – in a Small Town!
The beauty and spirit of small towns is on full display during the holidays and Newport is no exception. Main streets lined with wreaths, lights, and events galore, small towns really personify the spirit that is Christmas. You have people coming together that may not see each other often: families, friends, neighbors, even those you’ve never met. “A small-town Christmas” is truly a hallmark moment. As you gather with your own family wherever in the country that may take you, I urge you to take photos of the small towns you find yourselves in. Send us your photos! And we will feature them in our year end Sunshine Report. Just this last weekend, my children, who find themselves in separate corners of the world all year, Japan, California, Sunapee NH, were able to come together right in Newport for Trivia Night at the Salt Hill Pub. Those special moments really make the holidays. I hope this Christmas brings you many of those special moments and you find beauty everywhere.
The Family Home for Christmas!
I hope you can reunite with your family this holiday season. This past weekend I had a great pleasure in spending time with three of our children (Lincoln, and Morgan). As you may know all are off on their own paths – Lincoln in the US Navy, Morgan studying to become a naturopathic doctor and Gates as a member of the NH House of Representatives and executive in the insurance business. And, in so doing, spread out across the globe. I couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments but what made this holiday season kick off on the right foot was the quality time we spent in my hometown of Newport and the Lake Sunapee area – as well as on the seacoast at our home in Portsmouth.
I’m sure that you have your special holiday memories. In being back in Newport this past weekend, it sure brought back some great memories for me. And, by the way it is definitely Christmas time in Newport right now. I do remember as a boy walking the Main Street with my parents to get gifts for our family at the local stores. You could buy virtually all the gifts and more at the stores on Main Street – all family owned and operated - Kelly’s Drug Store, Johnson’s Ben Franklin Store, Harrington’s Jewelers and even some great stuff at Martin’s Hardware. Then, being able to play – and even skate if it was cold enough to have the rink frozen, out on the beautiful town common. These are splendid memories. You couldn’t ask for anything more and that’s what the holidays are all about – relishing memories and making new ones. Coming Together!
Karen and I love opening our home to friends and family not because it’s what we do but because it’s love, compassion, and togetherness that is most important. A warm home with love is what all people should look forward to this holiday season. Extending a hand of support or even a hug is way better than a gift. And it reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.
We are incredibly blessed to have a wonderful family and great friends. And, we wish you and your family the very best and this marvelous time of year.
Prayers For Those Who Are Serving Our Country This Christmas:
There are few moments in a military parent's life that bring such an overwhelming feeling than when their son or daughter surprises them by returning home from their deployment for Christmas. We all know the tearful videos from social media. The dad is asked to walk outside for his gift, only to see his son standing there in the doorway. The mother is unwrapping a gift only to be surprised by the sweet embrace of her daughter from behind her. It warms the heart to such an extent that the only response we can conjure up is a burst of tears. Every time we see our child deploy to serve our great country, we are filled with pride, but also - understandably - with anxiety. We worry about our kids, especially because of the dangers they may face abroad.
This past weekend, I was so thankful to be one of those dads that was surprised. My son, Lincoln, who has been deployed in the South China Sea on the USS Ronald Reagan, came home to New Hampshire to visit me. I could hardly contain myself. My son makes me beyond proud. Seeing his face, being able to hug him again, and then have him enjoy a wonderful American cheeseburger, watch the New England Patriots game together… Wow. It really doesn't get any better. As we enter the week of Christmas, I am praying for my son, but I am also praying for all of the sons and daughters, husbands and wives, and fathers and mothers who are deployed this Christmas. I also pray for all of those that are lucky enough to be home with their families for this miraculous holiday. God Bless our troops!
Newport Leading Way on Electric!
Profile of the Week: David and Cynthia Kim
David and Cynthia Kim are the epitome of the ‘giving back’ spirit. They are the founders of Children of Fallen Patriots, an organization we enthusiastically support. The Kim’s are strongly rooted in their faith and see a moral duty to give back, especially to those who have been left behind by those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice.
Children of Fallen Patriots was originated back David, who is an Army veteran and West Point grad himself, had a fellow soldier killed in action and left behind a wife and an unborn child. David knew he had to act, and the idea of Fallen Patriots was born
Together they have devoted their lives to giving back. They have worked to build an organization that has helped more than 1450 children receive the opportunity for a college education. And, do so in a way where they can graduate totally debt-free.
What a remarkable achievement and what a splendid organization. And, even more, David and Cynthia have raised four incredible children. All motivated, all highly accomplished – and all imbued with the spirit of giving that is the hallmark of their wonderful parents.
Quotes of the Week: Hope and Christmas
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
“The day you stop getting excited about Christmas is the day you become officially old.”
― Stewart Stafford
“If you can't find the spirit of the holidays in your heart, you'll never find it under a tree.”
― Michael Holbrook
"I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world." -Norman Vincent Peale
“Christmas isn't a date on a calendar, it's a feeling in the heart.”
― Toni Sorenson