Last Monday, we held a number of Christmas treats for the children of west Kingston.
Included in the treats were toys for 2,000 children.
At one of the treats, I saw a little boy, 5 or 6 years old, crying uncontrollably.
It turned out that he had not received a toy.
By the time he had got there they had all already been given out.
As I tried to console him a little girl – perhaps the same age – came up and handed him her toy.
She said nothing. She started walking away before I called her back and hugged her.
The book of Isaiah tells us that a little child shall lead them.
In a simple, innocent gesture, that little girl taught us what Christmas is all about.
It is about love. It is about caring and sharing.
For in that first Christmas two thousand years ago God shared himself with us by sending his only begotten son as a sacrifice, a covenant for the redemption of the world.
Today, as we celebrate this special day, let us make it really special not just in what we do for the day but in the change that today can make in our lives for the rest of our lives.
There are many persons for whom today will hardly seem any different from any other day – persons who have no job and are unable to provide for the basic needs of themselves and their families.
Christmas for us means more than just spending time with our families and friends. It means reaching out to those who have been left out.
There is so much more that we can do as a government and as a people to help the helpless, empower the powerless and prioritize the marginalized.
If Christmas is to mean anything, it must reinforce in us our duty to each other.
That is what inspired that little girl to give up her Christmas gift to make someone else happy.
Today, let us remember the homeless who roam the streets scrummaging for food, who struggle every day to survive in a world that many of them don’t even understand.
Let us remember the shut-ins whose world is the tiny room to which they are confined.
We must not be too busy to care or too wrapped up in our own festivities to lend a loving heart and a helping hand.
Let us also remember those families who lost loved ones in the course of the year and for whom the joys of Christmas have to contend with the pain of sorrow.
Let’s give them a call or visit them this Christmas day.
Let’s reach out to them.
We extend special greetings to Jamaicans living overseas.
We know that wherever you are your Christmas will be spiced with the genuine Jamaican flavour.
To those of you who have returned to spend Christmas with your families we say “welcome home!”
I wish for all Jamaicans a peaceful Christmas.
As we reflect on the real joy of this blessed day, may we find in our hearts love for each other and may we renew our commitment to the practice of caring and sharing.
As that little girl demonstrated in West Kingston, every one of us can do something – maybe some small little thing – that can bring immense joy to someone else.
Let’s do it, not just for Christmas, but throughout the coming year.