December 2, 2012

Taking time to smell the poinsettias…in pursuit of common good

CHICKASHA — Since 1941 the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day contain a minimum of 27 days and a maximum of 33 days.  President Lincoln’s “Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863” established the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day.  Thus, whether intended or not, there would never be more than 31 days between the two holidays.  However, twice during the Great Depression (in 1933 and again in 1939) November had five Thursdays thus shortening the “holiday season” in those years to 25 and 26 days respectively.  Needing more shopping days, merchant-business owners prevailed upon President Roosevelt to lengthen the season of “hustle and bustle” by designating the fourth Thursday as the official date.  The President withstood the 1933 request, but relented in 1939 and in 1941, Congress made the designation uniform across the United States.  Despite the “longer” holiday season, it is difficult to find anyone who “has too much time on their hands.”  Instead, we bemoan that we, “can’t get everything done.”  

Packing everything in is a holiday tradition.  One tradition that is a cherished memory from my youth is the annual Christmas program.  Everyone participated according to their own skill level.  I remember as a third grader being told that singing solo was not my forte (unless I sang “so low” that no one could hear me).  Alternatively, I had the good fortune to be permitted to wear my old bath robe and be a shepherd.  I don’t remember any of us shepherds singing solos.  I also was allowed to narrate some of the play, reading from Luke 2, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people”.  Sometimes I wish that I could have been a singer, but anytime I hear someone read the account in Luke, it still sends chills down my spine.  I remember how Mrs. Carpenter and Mrs. Sullivan taught me to enunciate when I said, “For Today, in the City of David, a Savior has been born to you.”

On Thursday at the capitol, students from two schools in my District (Marc Boles’ Verden students and Natalie Lierle’s group from Fort Cobb-Broxton) participated in festivities in the capitol rotunda and decorating trees and in the lighting of the 30 foot tall tree on the south side of the capitol.  We appreciate them helping to kick off the Christmas season for the state government.  Students from other schools will help with area food pantries and food and clothing banks and yet others have scheduled trips to area nursing homes to bring cheer to those in their community.  The students and their teachers cannot be commended enough for the many caring works of service that they are involved in.  The examples of compassion that the teachers display and that the students observe and learn helps produce productive citizens who possess empathy and a will to make this world a better place.

Over the next two weeks, there will be a number of holiday programs in the schools across District 56.     The outstanding academic programs that our schools provide to our youth is matched by the excellent music programs, both vocal and instrumental, that committed and dedicated teachers spend hours rehearsing with students.  Often, the programs are attended only by parents and grandparents, but I would urge you take the time to attend a program in your community and support the students and teachers.  You will see how their work is for the Common Good.

Following is a list of the programs across the District and in your community:

Sunday, December 9 at 3:00 p.m. – Christmas Choir Concert – Chickasha

Monday, December 10 at 6:00 p.m. - Mountain View-Gotebo – Christmas Program

Monday, December 10 – Fort Cobb-Broxton – 3rd and 4th Grade Performance at CCRA

Monday, December 10 at 6:45 pm. – Minco – Christmas Vocal Program

Tuesday, December 11 – Fort Cobb-Broxton – 1st and 2nd Grade Performance at High School BB game

Thursday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. – Gracemont Christmas Program

Thursday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. – Chickasha Prism Concert

Thursday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. -  Anadarko All Band Concert

Monday, December 17 at 7:00 p.m. – Amber-Pocasset - PreK-3rd Grade Christmas Program

Tuesday, December 18 at 6:30 p.m. – Verden Elementary Christmas Program

I would suggest that you call the school to verify the date and time of the program.  If your school is not listed, please check to see when their programs are scheduled.

I appreciate the opportunity to serve you as your State Representative.  If there is ever anything that I can do to assist you, please call me at 405-557-7401 or eMail me at

I look forward to seeing you soon.

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