The following is text from the governor’s Dec. 24, 2011, radio address. To listen, click the  MP3 link below.

“Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.

Celebration and family are at the heart of the holidays and I wish you and yours the very best as we head into the New Year.

It’s also a time to give to those less fortunate, remember our troops around the globe who are fighting to keep us safe, and reflect on the year gone by.

Recently, a father and his two teenagers came to see me in my office. The family is from Somerset County – one of the impoverished areas in Maine. They live modestly, and believe in the importance of giving back to their community whenever they can.

So, with true holiday spirit, instead of buying presents for each other this Christmas the family is donating to others who need it most, money that would have gone toward gifts.

It’s one of many heartwarming stories from fellow Mainers which display our generosity.

Money, however, isn’t the only way to give. Your time is just as meaningful. And I can tell you from experience it’s even more satisfying than cutting a check.

Through the years, Ann, myself and the kids have served meals to the homeless during the holidays, but we didn’t do it to only hand out food. It was about getting to know people in our community.

Having served on the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter board for many years, I saw the struggles people go through. The choices they had to make – whether to use their money on food or rent or worse when they had no choice at all and no place to go but the shelter.

There is a saying, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”

And I have seen people who have been down and out get back on their feet to then be able to give back through volunteering. It really is a wonderful thing and I encourage you to give your time in 2012 because it really will make a difference in someone’s life.

Deserving our appreciation also are our military members at home and overseas. They’re the ones away from their families, giving all to protect the freedoms we share. I want to thank our troops for their service and sacrifice to keep our great nation safe. I want to thank their families too for their patience and willingness to support their loved ones as they are away from home during the holidays.

As you look back on 2011, I hope you’re able to reflect on the good times more than the bad.

2012 is full of promise and as your Governor I will do my best to lead our state to a more prosperous future.

Ann and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”