Another Christmas is upon us and I extend warm wishes and a sincere hope that you and your loved ones are in good health and full of happiness.

This season, in particular, I am looking forward to being home in my district with friends and family to enjoy Christmas and spend time with the people I am proud to represent. Most importantly, I encourage you to join me in remembering the reason for the season.

As the year draws to a close, I reflect on the concluding year, the good and the bad, to recognize all there is to be grateful for yet all the work that still lies ahead. As you know, Kentucky has experienced two terrible natural disasters in the last year, the devastation which took lives, homes, personal belongings and so many memories with them. Out of those tragedies, though, our residents rallied behind and lifted one another up. This Christmas, consider the continued good we can do and the pure joy our actions and kindness can bring to others.

Consider donating to Toys for Tots to help bring a little joy to the life of a child. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is directed by the commander of the Marine Forces Reserve, with the assistance of his staff. Over 800 communities representing all 50 states conduct local campaigns annually. While Toys for Tots coordinators organize and manage the campaign, the ultimate success depends on local community support and the generosity of the people who donate. Visit ToysForTots.org and find out how you can donate virtually and if there is a local campaign near you.

During the interim, my colleagues and I have worked diligently to finalize our policy goals for the upcoming 30-day session. My personal thanks to each and every one of you who reached out, provided input, or testified before the legislature this past year. Your assistance was critical and truly guided us as we finalize our 2023 Legislative Session priorities. Session is set to begin on Jan. 3, 2023.

In looking to this next calendar year, I am always comforted to know that God ultimately remains in control. He has a plan for each one of us; not just in the daily tasks and problems of our lives, but with an eternal perspective. Remember the true reason for Christmas – the “good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Our salvation is in God’s plan for each of us if we simply accept his great gift.

It is my wish that everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year. Be well, and I look forward to hearing from you again in 2023.