“Christmas gives us the opportunity to find again the best in us.”
And the angels sang with the heavenly host saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and goodwill to all men.”
My fellow citizens and residents, it is with great pleasure and a humble heart, that I wish you a Merry Christmas. May the joy of this Christmas Season manifest itself in all that we do, and abide with us continually, in our hearts and in our homes.
In our predominantly Christian society, every home takes on a special beauty and special warmth at Christmas time. I remember well, as many would, how as children we would look forward to this time of year. Indeed, in those days, from early November, one could feel the “Christmas Spirit” building and growing in the air. The excitement and the goodwill were palpable. Much smaller homes seemed to house stronger families, who would come even closer together to celebrate the hope, the joy and the promise associated with the birth of Christ.
While it would appear that over the years there have been some changes owing to our growing material prosperity as a Nation, the last 20 months have given us cause to pause, to reflect, and to reassess our tendencies and priorities. Indeed, we had cause to reflect on the way we live, work and play.
As such, my Team Unity Administration has made critical adjustments but maintained our core values. Therefore, as a responsible and caring Government, we have adopted a life first strategy while providing much needed financial support to our citizens and residents. We will continue to be more caring, and understanding as we grapple with the varying conditions and realities of our people brought about by the pandemic and its effects.
Despite the challenges, our Nation has remained peaceful. We have labored in our decision making to bring goodwill to all sectors of our society and country. We are thankful for what Almighty God has allowed us to do, despite being in the throes of a pandemic.
With God’s help, we have extended the Poverty Alleviation Program (PAP), initiated and expanded income support to vulnerable groups, paid a double salary to public servants including our pensioners and STEP workers. This double salary was provided in the spirit of Christmas, in recognition of the hard work of employees in the Government Service who make the delivery of critical services possible. We also believe that the payment of the salary has spurred greater economic activity from which every citizen and resident is likely to benefit.
At this special time of year, we must all reflect on that first Christmas over two thousand years ago. Some celebrate Christmas as the birthday of a great philosopher, healer, and teacher. We, Christians, believe in the divinity of the child of the Virgin Mary; and that He is, the promised Saviour of mankind, the Prince of Peace. Some may question why would the Son of an Almighty God, who is able to perform such great miracles, come to us as a helpless baby. Indeed, that may have been his first great lesson to us, that no matter how much power, prestige, and potential we have, we need other people and that we ought to be humble.
It is a lesson that we bear in mind and is at the core of this Team Unity Administration. Another lesson is that God sent His son into the world to serve and improve the conditions of a world in dire need of love, hope, and salvation. Therefore, my Administration in an attempt to emulate the excellent example of Christ will continue to serve our people and strive to deliver love and hope to every citizen and resident of St. Kitts and Nevis. It is in this vein that we developed programs for our elderly, our differently-abled, and our shut-ins.
By the example of the one whom we celebrate this Christmas, we endeavor to remember and be inclusive of those who may otherwise be forgotten and in need of help.
As we admire Christmas trees, glittering lights and presents wrapped in beautiful packages, let us reflect the love that Jesus Christ taught us. Let us, as citizens and residents of this blessed Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis endeavor, like the shepherds on that first Christmas, to follow a higher light.
Let this holiday season be a time of rededication for all of us who call this blessed land home. While we may have less material things this year because of the worldwide shortages and supply chain disruptions, we have even more of the spiritual togetherness, and appreciation of sacrifice. These are the best gifts we can give and the best gifts we can receive.
As a country, we should take the time to remember, to thank, and to pray for those who sacrificed much, and for the successes we have had this year. We have been truly blessed and I pray that we will always seek and find favour with our saviour, Jesus Christ.
Christmas means so much to many of us throughout this land and the world because of one special child. With all that we have been facing this year with the pandemic and its related challenges, this Christmas gives us an opportunity to find again the best in us.
Acts of selflessness and charity are again emerging. We saw this in the care packages provided by Social Security, and our Social Services Department, which benefitted thousands of families. We saw it in the outreach of our churches and the private sector. For this we give God thanks. We again provide for our individual families, but with the caring compassion of shared responsibility we can also provide for our larger family of St. Kitts and Nevis.
It is my hope that we hold to these values that contribute to our incredible resilience as we look forward to what promises to be a brighter, safer and more prosperous 2022.
I pledge to remain faithful to God and the people of this beloved Federation. I am conscious of the privilege and burden of leadership, and I will always do all I can for every citizen and resident of St. Kitts and Nevis, and my country as a whole, with a heart of love and a mind focused on excellent service.
I take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas filled with joy, love, hope and togetherness. May God bless us all and may he continue to bless the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
I Thank You.