This week I got to enjoy one of the most fun parts of my job.
I took part in Gov. Mary Fallin’s Christmas tree lighting celebration on Thursday at the state Capitol. We invited 44 schools from across the state to participate. Each school got to decorate a small Christmas tree. Students also helped provide entertainment. We heard beautiful caroling and choir concerts as well as saw dance performances. And the students were likewise entertained by professional musicians and storytellers.
The children also wrote letters to our military troops. I know these messages will go a long way to bolster the spirits of those serving away from home during the holidays.
One of the best parts of the day was seeing the children’s eyes light up when they saw Santa Claus. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you just can’t resist the magic of Santa.
Many of our state’s rural students rode for hours to get to the Capitol and then they waited patiently as the governor and I made our rounds to each tree to take pictures and to visit for a few minutes.
Makayla Byers and Claire Castleman, fifth-graders from Dickson, gave me a super warm welcome when I stopped to look at their colonial-themed tree. The girls and their classmates were dressed in colonial costumes. They couldn’t have been cuter. They said they’d never been inside the capitol before, and their eyes were filled with wonder at all they saw.
“It’s so pretty,” Claire exclaimed.
The end of the celebration was the governor’s tree lighting ceremony just after dark on the south steps of the Capitol. She got help from Danielle, a second-grader who attends Positive Tomorrow’s Elementary School in Oklahoma City. Danielle said it was fun to be chosen to light the 30-foot tall tree.
This ceremony really brought the Capitol to life and helped us share the joy of the Christmas season with so many children from across our great state. What a blessing to be a part of such a wonderful event.