Good tidings of Christmas

            Wow, I can’t believe it is already Christmas week and almost the end of a truly wild year filled with nonstop political and financial chaos, excitement and turbulence. The gardening activities and even the weather were about the closest things to even keel or normal in our daily lives this year.

Hopefully you have added a Christmas tree, Christmas greens, poinsettias, Christmas cactus or other pretty and symbolic plants to your home and surroundings as we all prepare for the family events, religious services and special experiences of this amazing holiday to celebrate the birth of the Christ child. If you are still hunting for gifts for the gardener in your family or a good friend who gardens consider gardening gloves, tools, special plants they have been wanting, a gift certificate from their favorite garden center or even a hobby greenhouse for someone really special.

We are very fortunate to have grown some significant national businesses based in our state. We went through some really tough times in central Oklahoma as we lost national firms like Scrivners, Fleming, Kerr McGee and others who sold out or merged and lost their home office presence in our state. We were becoming a branch office state and branch offices rarely make the investment in the state and community that you see from home office businesses. We now have a whole new crop of local home office businesses making big investments in our state and doing good things for our community. Companies like Devon, Chesapeake, Sandridge, Continental Resources and many others have joined the many local small businesses across our state to make significant investment back into their property, our state and our civic and cultural institutions. Chesapeake has helped lead the way on beatification issues with the beautiful landscaping of their corporate campus and neighborhood and support for many public beautification projects working with Oklahoma City Beautiful and the Tree Bank. Devon has also supported many beautification projects and is planning a magnificent new downtown headquarters and will use a TIF financing district just approved this last week to allocate over 7.5 million dollars a year for the next 20 plus years to support downtown streetscaping, major landscaping to Civic Center Park, the Arts Festival Plaza area and to make Myriad Gardens even more remarkable. What a nice Christmas present for our city and state.

Lets all hope the new year allows our home state companies to navigate these interesting financial times and be able to survive and grow these Oklahoma based companies that enrich all our lives and our quality of life. Have a very Merry Christmas.

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