Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe shares his wish list this year.

Mike Kehoe and family

The holidays are cheerful for the Kehoe family, but they can also be a busy time of year with crowded schedules, shopping, and stress. The most wonderful time of the year can often be the most hectic time of year. These sentiments got me thinking about the greater effect the holidays could have on many people, this year more so than ever.

This holiday season may very well be one that is filled with something other than cheer. We certainly don’t want to forget the true meaning of Christmas — the birth of an infant that changed the world as we know it. Maybe this is the first holiday following the loss of a loved one. Perhaps everything feels heavy and bogged down with worry and frustration due to the pandemic. But that does not mean we should lose the giving spirit and the true meaning of the holiday season. When people can share cheerfulness, the real meaning of the holiday season will surely shine through.

When you are out and about this holiday season, small acts of kindness can make a world of difference. Say thank you to your mail carriers and delivery drivers. Let someone go in front of you in a crowded grocery line or smile at stressed-out employees who are also adapting to all of the current changes. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway when it snows or buy coffee for the person behind you in line. It’s just like Claudia and I often remind our children, “When you get to the gates, the good Lord is only going to ask you two things: Did you read my book and how did you treat others?”

It has often been said that the best gifts are not material ones. Small acts of kindness that show you are thinking of someone can mean more than a tangible gift. Write a thank-you note to a local volunteer. If you are unable to make a volunteer commitment this season, thank those who can. Send a note to your local fire or police department, or send a thank you letter to a shelter, food pantry, or church volunteer. Offer a friend a ride to a doctor’s appointment. Donate anonymously. Even the smallest acts of kindness can go a long way and bring a smile to someone’s face. As for the tangible gifts, remember to shop local and support small businesses throughout Missouri. For ideas and a list of Missouri manufacturers, visit

Many people have made a difference in your life. This holiday season, remember to tell them. Expressing how you feel and how much they mean to you is the perfect holiday gift. Just as an in-person conversation is better than a text, there is still something truly powerful and meaningful in a handwritten card or letter.