Joining carolers and representatives of a Native American tribe to light the State Capitol’s Christmas tree Nov. 30, Gov. Jan Brewer encouraged the community to donate time or money to help those who are less fortunate.
“When we do this, something begins to glow inside of us, just like the bright and warming lights on this great Christmas tree,” Brewer said.
Jose Martinez, president of the Young River People’s Council of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, gave a prayer blessing the tree.
Brewer urged participants and the public to be thankful for the freedoms and liberties protected by the men and women of the armed services.
“The Christmas holiday, as other holidays celebrated at this time of the year by different faiths, reminds us of the precious gifts given to us without us even asking,” she said.
Although Brewer has pronounced the 15-foot artificial evergreen a Christmas tree, departing from former Gov. Janet Napolitano’s decision to call it a holiday tree, she noted that the display also contains a Native American ornament and ornaments symbolizing Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.
For the fifth straight year, the choir from Beaver Creek School in Rimrock performed holiday songs. Nate Adams, a fifth-grader, said he enjoyed the experience.
“I like to sing and dress up,” he said. “It was really fun to see the governor, and I like being with my friends.”
Brewer said those visiting the tree should think of military members who will spend the holidays overseas.
“As we light this Christmas tree today, I hope you will see each light as one of them, in faraway places serving each of us as their gift to us,” she said. “Let us honor that gift by passing along our own gifts to others at home, perhaps by donating gifts to children who otherwise wouldn’t receive any or food to distribution centers and shelters.”