Honourable David Thompson QC, MP Prime Minister of Barbados??
Fellow Barbadians at home and abroad, residents, visitors and friends of Barbados, "Season’s Greetings" to each and every one of you.
Once again the Christmas Spirit has been released and the build-up to celebrating the most important event in the Christian calendar is reaching a climax. By now many of us would have completed the last assignment at work, carried out the big clean-up at home, purchased special gifts for our loved ones and bought the raw materials for the great Christmas feast.
Some of us may postpone these activities until the last moment in order to get the adrenalin flowing from racing against time to complete everything by midnight on Christmas Eve. Whatever your management style for approaching Christmas and the New Year, I hope that you get the enjoyment and the sense of fulfilment that you so rightly deserve.
However, in the midst of these pre-occupations don’t forget the primary purpose of Christmas. For most of us, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ, and the realization of the promise of a Saviour who would conquer death and give mankind access to everlasting life.
At another level, it is a time for families to get together and to honour their members, especially the children and the elderly. It is a time when the function of the family as a loving, nurturing and protecting institution should be clearly demonstrated.
Christmas should also be a time to take stock, to banish gloom and doom, and to spread the joy. Throughout the history of Christianity, people have used this season as the occasion to call a truce and to reach out to each other, to share good news and to seek peace.
Let us therefore draw on the Christmas Spirit and do the same. During this period let us reflect on what is taking place in our environment and try to understand and adjust to the fundamental changes that are transforming the world around us.
In particular, let us look critically at the current economic recession and ask ourselves what we can do to mitigate the negative effects of a contracting economy. Let us not underestimate the corrosive effect that a fall in income could have on our behaviour and our social institutions.
Let us therefore do all that is necessary to stabilize the situation and to plan for recovery. Never forget that we are a resilient people. Throughout our history, when others saw threats, we have seen opportunities; and what others took for weaknesses we have seen as strengths.
So let us use this festive and peaceful season to come together as a family, to share the joy and to commit ourselves to working together. Let us promise to collaborate, to strive to create wealth, employment and social justice, and overcome whatever challenges that may come our way.
Let us also reach out to those in need and share the festivities. Let us not forget those who will spend Christmas in institutions, those who will spend Christmas at home alone or as strangers in our midst.
On behalf of the Government and people of Barbados, and on behalf of Mara and our girls, we wish you all a happy and enjoyable Christmas.
I assure you that throughout this break we shall continue to reflect on how we can make 2010 a prosperous and successful year for all.
Thank You and God Bless Barbados.