We are lucky to live in Yavapai County and the Prescott area. In this small section of Arizona, the Constitution is still alive and well. Our First Amendment rights to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion are on display, especially during the Christmas season. Every year at the Courthouse lighting ceremony, public and elected officials participate and even read from the Bible to remind us that this holiday is about the birth of Christ. I believe I heard a few years ago, that anti-religious bullies like the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion organization were going to try to stop these readings. It didn't work. Look at all of our churches. We are a religious people.
That the Bible readings still occur every year is proof that our leaders stood up to those who oppose any public display of faith and that these naysayers have no support for their illegitimate cause in our community. Like all cowardly bullies, they back down when they meet strong opposition. To those who organize, string the lights, sing and supply the music for this beautiful event, we wish you and your families and friends a wonderful and joyous Christmas.
On Acker Night, most of the businesses, restaurants and hotels in the downtown area host our musicians and singers to provide a variety of musical skills. Water, hot chocolate and hot cider are provided at many of the locations. The talent on display is extraordinary. May all those who plan, provide the venues, and the performers who demonstrate their musical gifts, receive the blessings they deserve for providing such great listening joy for those of us who witness it. Our wish is that all of us who enjoy Acker Night donate so that our children can learn how to play and appreciate music. We are a musical community.
The Christmas Parade and the Children’s Parade also help to highlight why Prescott is known as Arizona's Christmas City. Not just locals, people from all over the State and beyond attend many of these events. To those brave souls who battle the traffic, the parking, the cold, and the periodic rain, snow and wind every year, may you minor trials and hardships be rewarded with the joy these event are intended to provide. We are a happy, welcoming community and may others find it so, too.
We must thank those who provide for our safety and movement during all of these activities. While we are enjoying ourselves, these men and women are working. Firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, ambulance drivers, medical helicopter pilots, doctors, nurses and other medical personnel are doing their jobs protecting us. Our police and sheriffs are out in the cold weather, too, but not for entertainment. They are directing traffic, arresting drunk drivers, writing reports and preventing some crimes just by their mere presence, while we are with our family and friends. May they all end their shifts safely and return home to loving arms of the families that are waiting for them.
Here's a prescription for the season. Smile, be happy and cheerful. Help those in need. Greet those you know and strangers with a sincere, “Merry Christmas” or a “Happy Hanukah” and a “Happy New Year”. And then try your hardest to make others happy next year and that will make yours even better.