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Serving Others

 Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year! Too often, we are caught up in "political correctness" and miss the reason for the season. I am proud to wish you true tidings of joy and hope you will pass it along. We love to celebrate Christmas in the Albers house and have many wonderful traditions. To my Jewish friends, may the light of the season illuminate your life as bright as the menorah.

December is a busy month preparing for the upcoming 2023 legislative session. I'm sponsoring several important pieces of legislation to create jobs, empower a responsible society, and ensure that we are responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.

While we shop for the perfect gifts for family and friends this season, we must remember that the best present we can give is service to another. Helping a neighbor in need is a responsibility we all share and a premise for which our country was founded. The seeds of American society were sown by people who had no one to depend on but themselves and their community. America's principle of service to others is one of the things that make our country great, where neighbors, friends, churches, and charities are the first to step in to help.

Christmas and Hanukkah are a wonderful time to begin volunteering. Communities across the state host programs and events during the holidays such as food drives, charity auctions, and unique events for the elderly or those with special needs. There are so many simple ways to give someone the gift of a helping hand.

Volunteer, sponsor a family, or simply give an extra can of food to a local food pantry. Buy breakfast for a coworker. Send a few extra holiday greeting cards just to show you care. Help somebody with their luggage at the airport. Let someone check out at the mall before you. Give your parking space to another driver. These small gestures may not come wrapped in a box or topped with a big red bow, but they'll mean more to the recipient than any material possession ever could.

Of course, at this time of year, we must remember the true public servants who risk their lives for our own. Thousands of brave men and women in our armed forces, police, fire, and EMS will stand guard in the chill of night this Christmas, far from their homes and loved ones. These American patriots deserve our respect and a debt of gratitude. At Christmas, sending an email, care package, or a letter to a service member stationed overseas is one of the most precious gifts you can give. Pray for safety and be thankful for the freedoms they protect.

President Calvin Coolidge once said, "Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas."

We must work harder to keep the spirit of Christmas alive throughout the New Year. Remember that it's the gifts of life, love, peace, and prosperity that we can share, which mean so much more than a present under the tree.

From the Albers family to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!
Happy 125th Birthday, Woodstock!
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