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Tribes throughout Oklahoma celebrate the holiday season

All across Oklahoma, tribal leaders and volunteers are striving to make the holiday season special for tribal members. Chiefs, governors and tribal chairmen are making the rounds, just like old St. Nick, to deliver presents and Christmas cheer to young and old alike.

Chief Gregory Pyle of the Choctaw Nation commended tribal members in a recent letter for their unselfishness in making sure that the economic success of the Choctaw Nation is felt by everyone in the tribe by asking all tribal members to reach out to those in need. Tribal council members have been hosting parties using both tribal funds and through private fund raising. Their goal is to give Choctaw children an opportunity to tell Santa what they have on their wish list.

The Choctaw children receive a gift and a goody sack full of fruit and candy. The council has also rallied to assist tribal members who are in need during the holiday season.

Chief Pyle's message for the season is: "I am proud of the tribal programs, the tribal staff and the tribal people. It is exciting to be a part of the Choctaw Nation today. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you. I wish prosperity and God's blessing for everyone."

Chickasaw Nation Governor Anoatubby has been traveling throughout the Chickasaw Nation to visit with tribal members and those all-important fans of Santa.

The Chickasaw Nation is one of many, which have organized an Angel Tree for its littlest members this year. It has been estimated that more than 400 children will be a part of the Angel Tree project this year. Anoatubby has urged tribal members to sponsor children to help make the holiday season brighter for those in need.

"The generosity of those who donate gifts is what the true spirit of Christmas is all about," he said. "This is a wonderful way to share the joy of the holiday season."

The Cherokee Nation has brought the tradition of southern Christmas into its own traditions. The Cherokee translation for Christmas is 'when they fire off firecrackers.' Even Santa gets into the fireworks with the translation of his name as 'he fires off firecrackers.'

Hayrides, tree lighting ceremonies and Christmas pageants have all been taking place in the Cherokee capital of Tahlequah, Okla. The Cherokee Nation's Children's Choir even put on a program of Christmas carols, translated into the Cherokee language for the first time.

All across the Southern Plains numerous tribes have organized dinners, food drives and Angel Trees for their tribal members. In the Southern Plains the real spirit of Indian country is alive and well and as a special treat for all of those who have done good deeds, the possibility of a White Christmas even appears possible as snow falls deep into the southern Oklahoma area. From tribes across the Southern Plains area, Merry Christmas!