My Fellow Jamaicans,
The Christmas season is once again upon us. It is the time of greatest cheer, of goodwill and of corporate celebration.
For us here in Jamaica, the warmth of the season shows up in the blooming poinsettias, the sorrel, the soft golden light of the December sun and the joyful sound of carols.
As a people I know we will find a way to celebrate, even amidst the challenges.
As we celebrate, we are to be mindful of the reason for the celebration which is the birth of our Lord and Saviour.
His life which is the supreme example of compassionate love, forgiveness, peace and reconciliation to all mankind throughout the ages.
Today in the midst of all the festivities, I encourage everyone to follow the example of our Master, Jesus Christ.
I challenge those who have, to share with those who do not have; those who are healthy and strong – help to strengthen the weak and less fortunate among us.
Let us also remember those who are confined to the various institutions.
Our hospitals, our children’s homes, our infirmaries, our penal institutions – to bring them some comfort and a little cheer.
Give our senior citizens pride of place in our homes and allow them to tell us the old stories of Christmas market and other folk tales.
My brothers and my sisters, it is my wish for every Jamaican that we would settle our personal and domestic disputes without violence and bloodshed.
As the line from the well-known song says, ” Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”
My special plea to all of us this season is for our children – that we give them all the love and attention they need.
Let us put some sparkle in their eyes and bring out the laughter within their hearts, and teach them the true meaning of Christmas.
Let us ensure their safety and security.
We are living in very difficult times. But it is in such times that we need to draw nearer to our families and our friends.
We are a resilient people and adversity often brings out the best in us.
If our foreparents could have made it through the trauma and indignity of slavery, and our National Heroes could come through times of great social upheaval and economic deprivation, then we too can summon up the courage and the determination to make it through these testing times.
In a very special way, I call on every Jamaican to remember those families who have lost their loved ones throughout the year.
Particularly those who lost their family members in the tragic accident in Portland last weekend.
As we rally around the bereaved families and communities with our love, and any assistance we can give, let us pray to the God of all comfort that He will sustain them during this time.
I wish for everyone – Jamaicans at home and abroad and the visitors to our island home – a happy and peaceful Christmas.
It is my wish that every family will have a safe, Holy and bright Christmas filled with love, joy and peace.
I want to use this opportunity to wish for my colleagues in both Houses of Parliament and Civic Leaders across the Nation, a God-blessed season.
I ask all those in the business and commercial sectors to join with us in ensuring that all Jamaicans are served well.
Let us ensure that the poorest and most disadvantaged among us are able to share in the goodness of God’s grace through our kindness.
This is our greatest service to God and to our people. Let us remember the words of our Lord, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it unto Me.”
Through our loving and giving, we will generate the beautiful Christmas spirit, and let it blow, like the Christmas breeze right across our country and within our hearts.
May we all come together this Christmas as one Jamaican family sharing and shaping the future together.
God bless you all.
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My Fellow Jamaicans,