As the brisk northern winds gust southward from their northern homes and expand their frosty mantles across the hills and hollows, the clear streams and misty woodlands, the shimmering skylines of our Midwestern home, the stores sparkle with shiny decorations, and Saint Nick happily rumbles his warm “ho, ho, ho,” we prepare yet again for a joyous season of fellowship and the reuniting of families near and far.
The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. I think of warmth, comfort and loved ones. I think of caring and sharing.
Christmas is a time to reach out to others to let them know we are there for them. It is a time for people to gather together as families, to remember with fond memories those who are no longer with us and to embrace and cherish those who are present. It is a time to exchange gifts—tangible and intangible—and to watch the delight on a person’s face as they are filled with the pleasure of receiving.
Although we hear the refrain, “Tis the season to be merry” that is not always the case for everyone. We should take this time to reach out to those who are homeless, who have lost loved ones, and to those in need. We can reach out and lift them up with a kind word, a gentle caring hand, and perhaps a gift, a token of our care and friendship. There are so many ways to give, to share. And the intangible gifts…the ones that are of kindness and deeds of caring…are the most important.
When we reach out to those in need, we receive so much more in return. May you and your families enjoy a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hannukah, a blessed holiday season all around and a prosperous and wondrous New Year!
“I am sure that I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round…as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely.”—Charles Dickens
Looking Ahead to the 2013 Legislative Session
With the 2013 legislative session just weeks away, members of the Missouri House and Senate have turned their attention to the fiscal year 2014 state operating budget and important public policy concerns. Dec. 1 was the first day legislators could begin submitting legislation for the 2013 session, and dozens of measures have already been filed in the House and Senate.
Information about all House members and bills filed may be found online at www.house.mo.gov/default.aspx.
With the opening day of the Missouri General assembly set for Jan. 9, 2013, lawmakers are setting their legislative priorities for the upcoming session in the House of Representatives.
I just completed a four-day, statewide Speaker’s Tour wherein we traveled to 20 cities across our State, made more than 25 stops and covered more than 2,150 miles!
We listened carefully to the concerns of all Missourians who came out in large numbers to speak with us and we unveiled and presented our bold, aggressive and far reaching Triple E Agenda:
- Economic Development for Job Creation,
- A Strong Energy Policy for a More Energy Independent Missouri
- Education Funding and Reform for our most precious resource and treasure, our children.
The House Majority will focus on legislation designed to retain major employers and professionals, improve our business climate and comprehensively revise our complicated criminal code. Missouri must reform its confusing regulatory environment for businesses and energy production and eliminate disadvantages that Missouri has in competing with neighboring states for businesses, jobs and medical professionals. Finally, we must continue to focus on our education system and make it the best it can be.
Our children and grandchildren of today are the “us” of tomorrow: the business leaders, the job creators, the public servants, the entrepreneurs, the innovators, the workers and the future leaders of our State and Nation.
Lawmakers from both parties will work together to accomplish our goals in the next session.