The holidays are a time of celebration and giving.  As we approach Christmas, it is important to realize that this time of happiness can also be a very difficult time for those who have endured tremendous losses during this past year.

We all should remember those who are still struggling to rebuild their lives after last May’s tornado in Picher.  Seven people lost their lives, and 150 were injured.  Hundreds more lost their homes.  Even though you may not know any of the victims of that storm, they are our friends and neighbors—our fellow Oklahomans.  Keep them in your prayers this Christmas.

Please keep in your hearts the families of the military men and women who have been injured or killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Again, even though you may not know them personally, they served each of us and fought to bring about a safer world for us all.  They are fellow Oklahomans, and we should keep them and their families in our prayers as well.

We should always be thankful to live in this great and free nation, but we should be mindful of those who have lost their jobs or are suffering because of the worldwide economic downturn.  We should be thankful for what we have, and do all that we can to help those in need in this season of giving.

Lastly, I thank you for your friendship and support, and ask for your prayers for all elected officials to make good decisions in the coming months as we represent you at the State Capitol.  I want to wish each of you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

As always, I welcome your comments on state government.  Please feel free to contact me by writing to Senator Charles Wyrick at the State Capitol, Room 530, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105; call me at (405) 521-5561.