When I was a little kid, my parents made a big deal about Christmas. We were a middle class family; my mother was a schoolteacher and my father had a very small hardware store. Like most kids, I had a lot of trouble going to sleep on Christmas Eve because I was so excited about the presents I was going to get the next morning. My parents made sure that I got lots of gifts under the tree, and though they were not expensive, they put a huge smile on my face: a model airplane, one year a bicycle, new socks, clothes, more toys… Each year, my mother also filled a Christmas stocking with walnuts and fruit – apples and oranges – one for my sister and one for me. She did this for the rest of her life to remind us that when she grew up on an East Texas farm, that was all that kids got, and she wanted us to be grateful for our blessings.
When I was still in elementary school, for some reason one Christmas I did not get many presents, and it was immediately apparent that I was very disappointed. My mother sensed it right away and began to cry. I always remembered that incident as I got older, thinking about how many parents are not able to give their children a happy Christmas with gifts and special things. I know kids may not know the difference, but parents do, and it hurts them not to be able to provide.
I hope all of us will remember this holiday season the less fortunate ones and support them as generously as we can, given this is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. I remind you that AP is trying to brighten the Holiday Season for mothers and kids staying at the Genesis Women’s Shelter at the time of huge distress in their lives. You can either bring them a requested gift or donate online and have AP’s HR get them presents at https://www.gofundme.com/akctxguk%20
Happy holidays, everyone! I wish you health, peace, love and joy, and a very prosperous New Year. Thank you for all you do to help expand access to higher education to all our citizens!