Senator John ThuneChristmas is a special time of year when families and friends gather to celebrate many blessings. It is a time of coming together to share gifts and enjoy the company of others-a time for reflecting on the year that has passed.
As we share in the love and friendship of others, it is important that we also remember the giving spirit of the season.
This year, many families across South Dakota are facing difficult and uncertain times, but in schools, churches, and community centers across our state we see neighbors reaching out to others to lend a hand. Opportunities to assist others who are facing trying times are not limited to monetary giving. Donations of time and simple acts of kindness can help relieve someone's burden.
In my 12 years representing South Dakota in the United States Congress, I have been fortunate to visit and meet with people from towns across our state. As I travel around the South Dakota, I often hear stories of communities working together to help a farmer, a small business owner, or a neighbor in need.
In addition to giving, Christmas is also a time of thanks. As we spend time with loved ones, it is important to take a moment to recognize those that sacrifice to ensure our safety and protect our freedoms. Many of us know South Dakotans who are bravely serving in our Armed Forces and will be spending Christmas away from home. I ask that all South Dakotans join me in praying for their safe return.
As I gather with my wife Kimberley and our daughters this Christmas, I would like to wish all South Dakotans a Merry Christmas and thank you for the opportunity to work for you. It is an honor and a blessing for which I am truly grateful. May God continue to bless our nation and South Dakota.