Brian Bushweller, State Senator

17th District of Delaware

December, 2016

My Favorite Season of the Year

For as long as I can remember, Christmas has been my favorite season.  One of my earliest memories is of riding my bike “downtown”, in the little New York town where I grew up, to buy my mother a present.  For the first two or three years I was allowed to go shopping on my own, I gave her the same thing:  a 15 cent bottle of perfume I purchased at the Newberry’s 5 and 10.  But, I then graduated to a 25 cent candy dish, a gift of which I was actually quite proud.

Later, I recall taking my own children to the mall to help them find a gift for their mother.  Now, my kids take their own kids to do the same thing.  One of the wonderful things about holidays is that traditions continue even though other aspects of life bring inevitable change.

Another thing I like about the holidays is that different religions and ethnic groups enjoy significant celebrations around the same time.  Christians celebrate Christmas, Jews celebrate Hanukkah, Muslims celebrate the Islamic New Year.  An increasingly popular festival during the holiday season is Kwaanza, a celebration of African-American communities and cultures in the United States.  All of this celebrating makes for warm feelings and good times even if the weather has turned chilly.

During the holiday season, my wife often reminds me that not all of us have the family or resources to enjoy the holidays to the fullest.  She suggests we should all think about doing something nice for someone else, maybe someone we don’t even know.  I think that’s a great idea.  One thing I do every year is ring the bell for the Salvation Army.  You meet all kinds of great people ringing the bell.  Some look like they don’t have much in the way of resources themselves but still manage to put something in the kettle for others.  And, little kids love to put money in the kettle.  They may not know it but they are learning an important lesson for the future:  helping others is a good thing.  Maybe there’s something you can do.

While many of my memories of Christmas are from childhood, I’m also adding new memories each and every year.  As I drive around central Kent County during the holidays, I am always moved by the lights and displays and other signs of happy celebration that proliferate in our communities.  I will admit my favorite display is the beautifully lighted trees in Dover’s City Hall Plaza and the surrounding area.  My wife and I make it a point to drive downtown several evenings during the season just to enjoy the lights.  I’m happy to live in an area that understands that these kinds of things greatly enhance our quality of life.

I didn’t say anything about legislation in this “Legislative Update” but there will be plenty to be said in future columns.  In the meantime, my wife and I wish everyone a Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year!