“Joy to the world, the Lord is come

Let earth receive her King”


My Fellow Jamaicans at home and abroad, I greet you with the love, joy, hope and faith that were all wrapped up in that manger, where Jesus, our Lord and King was born.


It is such a blessing for us to be enjoying once more, the cool, gentle breeze and the heart-warming customs of Christmas in Jamaica.


For us, Christmas time is when sorrel and gungo peas are in season and the beautiful, red poinsettias are in majestic bloom.


All around the world, at this time, hearts crave the joy, peace and goodwill that Christ, the Saviour brought to all mankind.


At Christmas, there is an appetite for good news and expressions of love, care and compassion.


It has been more than two thousand years since that first Christmas morn, but the message of the season has not lost its significance and resonance.


Our spirits are lifted by the tidings of great joy. We are comforted that we can have hope in a world that sometimes tempts us to despair in the face of our personal difficulties.


We are reminded at this Christmas season that we should exercise faith, hope and love; and that there is a God who cares for us enough to give us the gift of His Son.


Today, I greet especially, the children of Jamaica. They are special. They are our country’s hope and future.


Jesus, whose birth we now celebrate, taught us an immortal lesson in humility and love when he called the little children to come unto Him.


We are reminded that unless we all become like them, we cannot enter the kingdom. Jesus taught us to receive the children with love.


At this time of Christmas let us look out for all our children – in our families, and in our communities. Let us recommit to their welfare, their proper nurturing and their total development. Spend quality time with them.


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Even if we cannot give the shiny Christmas presents they may look forward to, give them the gift of love, understanding, encouragement and motivation.


Christmas is a time for friendship. It’s a time for laughter, shared memories, the exchange not just of presents, but also of love and care.

It is a time to show gratitude, no matter how little, or how much we have, and it is a time to give God thanks for all He has done for us.


Part of the Jamaican tradition at Christmas time is to show gratitude by sharing what we have with others. This is the spirit that Christmas evokes and once again, we should seize the opportunity to share love and spread peace.


Christmas is a time for family, no matter how family is defined. Those persons with whom we share our love, our lives, or dreams and our aspirations, are family.


It could be a small token of appreciation given to a family member, friend or complete stranger.  It could be the simple gift that lights up a child’s face with wonder and delight, or fulfilling critical needs of the less fortunate, for the basic essentials such as food and clothing.


Our gift this Christmas could even be just a call or visit to someone who is feeling lonely and forgotten, maybe someone who has lost a loved one during the year.


Let us spread cheer to those in our hospitals, infirmaries, children’s homes and prisons. Reach out to those Jamaicans who are living on our streets. Reach out to those are depressed and dejected. Reach out and touch somebody this Christmas.


Let us of all generations celebrate this Christmas together.  Let our children, our youth and our seniors rekindle family and community bonds.


I urge my fellow Jamaicans to make our senior citizens, especially those who are shut ins, feel our special love at this time. Give them comfort and words of encouragement. Visit them, hug them, and cherish them.


I greet our citizens with special needs who continue to contribute courageously to the nation. This year, through special legislation the Government sought to better facilitate your development. I urge all Jamaicans to truly make those with special needs feel special.


At this time, I would also like to extend greetings to our security forces, health personnel, fire fighters and all who are engaged in essential services and who will be working over the holidays.


I have a special word for members of the Jamaican Diaspora, wherever you are, whether in the freezing cold, or in more tropical climates, or spending time here in sweet Jamaica.  We send you our love as an integral part of the Jamaican family.


As we all enjoy the holidays, I encourage everyone to please take very good care on the roads and I am appealing to everyone to walk, ride and drive carefully.


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Remember, if you are driving do not drink and do not “text” while driving.


May Peace dwell within our hearts this Christmas and always.


May refreshing rivers of understanding and care flow in our interactions with each other, and may we all drink from the clear streams of compassion. I wish that love will abound in all our hearts


Bob La-zar-Atwood, shares with us some sound advice in his poem, “It’s Christmas time again”

“Call a truce with those who bother you

Let all the fighting cease

Give your differences

A breather

And declare a time of peace

Don’t let angry feelings taint

The precious time you have to spend

And allow yourself some happiness

It’s Christmas time again.”


So, my Jamaican brothers and sisters, friends, it’s Christmas time again.


Let us rejoice that we are alive to see and embrace this day. Let us abide by this principle of love which is at the heart of the Christmas message of peace and goodwill to all humankind.


May the joy, peace and hope of this holy season be yours, and may you remember the reason for the season.


I wish you and your loved ones a joyful and peaceful Christmas.   May the Lord bless you and keep you and take you safely into a very happy, fulfilling New Year!


God bless you all and God bless, Jamaica land we love.

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