Ambassador Schieffer's Holiday Message 2008

During this hopeful holiday season, my wife Susanne and I are reminded of the blessings we enjoy, and we renew our sense of what is important in our lives. Family and friends, in Japan and at home in the United States, gather to share old traditions and create new ones. Some are baking holiday treats with their children, some are planning their osechi-ryori menus. Children are excited about exchanging gifts or receiving otoshidama. Volunteers pitch in to help those less fortunate. Greeting cards fill the mailboxes, or, these days, perhaps the e-mail boxes.

This is our final holiday season in Japan. The Japanese people have been so kind to us, and we have many, many memorable experiences. But having been overseas for seven and a half years, we are excited about returning home to our native Texas and America.

Representing the United States of America as an Ambassador has been the greatest honor of my life. It has given me a front row seat as history is being made. The experience has also made me mindful of the fact that all of us, whether we are Japanese or American, want our children to succeed and live in a world full of hope and promise – a world where peace and prosperity are enjoyed by every man and woman of every nationality.

May your holidays be filled with joyful moments and happy memories.

Season's Greetings,

J. Thomas Schieffer signature