A compilation of Christmas messages from Florida’s elected officials and politicians.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio:
“Right now I’m traveling through New Hampshire with my family, meeting as many voters as I can, before we pause to celebrate Christmas.
“It hasn’t been always easy getting the Rubios together for a quality Christmas picture — see for yourself.
“This time of year isn’t just about family — it’s about celebrating the greatest gift humanity ever received: the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I often say that the most important job I’ll ever have is to be a father, and the most important part of that, really, is to teach my kids about the gifts of our faith.
“Throughout the season of Advent, I’ve been getting ready with my family for this special holiday, a celebration of an event that changed the world for eternity. I hope that you’ve been able to do that, too: to reflect on whatever faith you hold, and share it with those you love.
“My family has been extraordinarily blessed this year, and I hope yours has, too. This Christmas, when there’s so much turmoil, violence, and suffering in the world, I pray that every one of us can find some peace with family and faith.
“Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a blessed New Year.”
Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera:
“It is with a full heart that I email you tonight.
“Renee and I are taking time to reflect, and truly be grateful for the blessings in our lives. From our children, to our family and friends, we have so much to be thankful for this Holiday Season.
“We know this next year will bring challenges, but with the love and support of friends and family like you, we know we are up to it, together.
“We want to thank you for your support and your friendship, we could not do it without you.
“Please continue to have a happy Holidays, a wonderful Christmas, and a prosperous New Year.”
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater:
“As Americans, we cherish this time of celebration with our family and friends. While our celebrations may be different, we can all share the spirit of faith and joy this season. My family will soon celebrate Christmas, and I look forward to time spent catching up with loved ones and expressing gratitude for the year’s blessings.
“It is easy to get caught up in the last-minute shopping or traveling stresses of the holidays, but let us remain focused on the traditions of our faith and the true meaning of the holiday season–giving and having a grateful heart.
“As we gather with our loved ones, surrounded by the news of the world and issues being faced this holiday season, we are reminded of what is important in life–not the things that surround us, but the people. With this in mind, I encourage you to be present with loved ones without the distractions of phones, computers, and all of the other modern-day conveniences we each enjoy so much. These are the memories that will last a lifetime, the bonds that tie us together as family, and the connections that forge our communities.
“Remain mindful of the joy you can bring to others. Should you have the time, I encourage you to consider giving back to your neighbors and community through volunteer work. One act of kindness can change someone’s life or even start a chain reaction of service; either way, everyone wins.
“Giving back to those who have greatly inspired me — the people of Florida — drives my passion for public service. I hope that no matter how large or small, it will make a difference in the lives of the people I serve.
“Carole and I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season.”
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam:
U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham:
U.S. Senate candidate Todd Wilcox:
Congressional candidate Eric Lynn:
Congressional candidate Mary Thomas:
State Sen. Dennis Baxley:
“Christmas is a special time to thank the Lord for the gift of his love. May peace, joy, and happiness be yours during the holiday season and with you throughout the New Year!”
State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto:
“From our family to yours, we hope that your holiday season is filled with happiness, good health, and blessings. Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you in the Florida Senate.”
State Sen. Jeff Brandes:
“As we celebrate Christmas and enter the New Year, I’d like to thank you for giving me the honor of serving you in the State Senate. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to relax, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy the many things that make Tampa Bay such a wonderful place to live.
“From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!”
State Sen. Don Gaetz:
“While church bells chime the joyful message of Christmas, good friends of ours joined in placing holiday wreaths on military graves at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola. As we unwrap presents on Christmas morning let us always remember the gift of freedom won by the sacrifices of our veterans. The Gaetz family wishes your family all the best.”
State Rep. Richard Corcoran:
State Sen. Bill Galvano:
State Rep. Bob Cortes:
“As my family prepares to celebrate Christmas, I want to wish you and your family a very happy holiday. There continues to be much turmoil in the world, but I am grateful for the reminder of hope and peace in the Christmas message:
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12
“Let’s remember those serving in our military who are away from their families this Christmas. Our family is missing two members who are serving overseas this year, but we are so proud of them and grateful for their service. May you and your family be blessed with peace during this season and in 2016.
State Rep. Danny Burgess:
State Rep. Manny Diaz:
State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen:
State Rep. Matt Gaetz:
“As we celebrate Christmas and enter the New Year, I’d like to thank you for giving me the honor of representing Northwest Florida in the State House. This season I hope you’ll take the opportunity to spend time with loved ones and enjoy God’s many blessings.
“From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!”
State Rep. Bill Hager:
“Thank you to the many good people who came to my Annual Holiday Open House last week, bringing a generous amount of toys for the Children’s Home Society. Our toy box was overflowing and your generosity will put smiles on the faces of many local children this holiday season!
“I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”
State Rep. Shawn Harrison:
State Rep. Mia Jones:
State Rep. Ed Narain:
State Rep. Kathleen Peters:
“With Christmas upon us, I’d like to thank you again for the opportunity to serve you in the Florida House of Representatives. It is my hope that you enjoy the time with your loved ones throughout this holiday season.”
State Rep. Chris Sprowls:
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn:
“May your holiday season be full of joy and laughter and most importantly family. From our family to yours, happy holidays!”
Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice:
“I hope you and your family enjoy this beautiful holiday season.
“We have enjoyed taking some time to celebrate Christmas and the New Year’s holidays and look forward to 2016 and all that it holds for us all.
“Again, Merry Christmas!”
Florida House Republicans:
Foundation for Excellence in Education:
United for Care:
“To those who have fought with us to help the patients of Florida…
“To the patients themselves, struggling day in and day out…
“To their family and friends who give them happiness, support, and encouragement…
“To our volunteers, donors, vendors, and their families….
“…we wish you a Merry Christmas.”
Presidential candidate Ben Carson:
“We have had a very blessed year, and in no small part do we owe that to you.
“From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas.
“May God’s blessing surround you, your family and your loved ones on this special day.”
Last but not least, Donald Trump: