My favorite time of the year is Christmas because of what it stands for. Christmas is the season of giving because we are celebrating when God gave us the greatest gift of all by sending His Son Jesus to this earth.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” When I see the manger scene, I am awestruck that God would send his only Son to this world in such a vulnerable way to show us how to live, work, struggle and relate to others. In this way, our lives can show not only a dynamic relationship with God, but also the incredible potential of what God can do in each of us.

I want my life to emulate the words of the song, where shepherds heard the good news and told everyone that Jesus Christ is born! So during this time I hope you are able to look closer into the life of the One we celebrate on Christmas day.

This year, I’ve been pondering how important giving is, and I asked some people from across Payne County for their thoughts as well. I wanted to share with you what some have said and encourage you to consider what this looks like in your own life.

CUSHING:

“To me, giving means being intentional about giving of your time, money or other resources without expecting anything in return. As someone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, margin (time, resources) has been super valuable to me. The more of my margin I can give away without expecting anything in return the better human being I become.” - Terry Brannon

COYLE:

“Our town would not survive without those who give their time and skills to the community. People give what they can to enrich our community and as a result, it is a better place for all. Each of us have our own special skill sets that together, with the common goal of wanting a nice place to live, accomplishes what none of us could do alone. Giving one’s time for the benefit of others is just the human thing to do.” - JoAnn Hale

RIPLEY:

“Giving back to our community means giving my children lifelong memories of a wonderful childhood.” – Charene Webb

“During this Christmas time when I think about the word ‘give,’ I cannot help but think about all the people who have given to me. In my life, I’ve been given so much more than material items or monetary help. I’ve been given the gift of people’s time and the gift of people’s trust and love. I’ve been given an opportunity to learn and grow, both as a person and in my profession, and those things help me so much more than any material item ever could have. Throughout my life I’ve been surrounded by so many great people, friends and family alike, and I’ve been given many opportunities to be successful and I can’t help but be very thankful. I feel very blessed to be in a situation where I’m back in my home community around so many people who gave to me as I was growing up and to be able to have the opportunity to give back to my community and the families who helped me along the way.” - Kaleb Hoffman

I couldn’t have said it any better. Let’s have a blessed Christmas because we’re thinking about giving in all areas of our lives.

Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts. You can reach me at john.talley@okhouse.gov or (405) 557-7304.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as state representative for such a great district!

Rep. John Talley, a Republican, serves District 33 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which covers Logan and Payne Counties.

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