Christmas is one of our most favorite times in the Simons household. In this holiday season, we join our fellow Christians around the world to rejoice in the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. As we enjoy our traditions and festivities re-telling his story from that holy night some 2000 years ago, we’ll also remember his eternal message – one of boundless love, compassion, and hope.
Christmas may also be a time for us to joyfully reunite with our families and friends so that we rekindle love, re-ignite bonds, and celebrate the gift of life. For many, it is time for meditation, prayer and a fulfilment of spiritual growth and inner peace.
On reflection, we all know that the end of the year is a special time for everyone. It marks the pinnacle of individual and collective journeys we have crossed during the course of the year. It is a time to reflect on where we are, as we prepare for the beginning of a new year, which marks a new season in our lives.
As we reexamine the accomplishments and challenges of 2021, it is time to firmly focus on new dreams, new possibilities, new hopes and new aspirations for the future of our families, our nation, and ourselves as individuals.
Even in the face of difficulties, the Christmas period is a time for the renewal of our collective resolve as a country to unite behind the vision of a cohesive and a very inclusive society in pursuit of fundamental freedoms, human rights, peace, and shared prosperity.
There is no doubt that Christmas 2021 is no ordinary festive season. It has been like no other in the recent past. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about hardship, disruptions, and pain in our lives.
Throughout the world, we are locked in the throes of a ravaging pandemic that has decimated lives and the livelihoods of many people. The global economy has taken a serious knock due to lockdowns and a restricted trade environment. Here at home, the economic challenges have deepened, resulting in the disruption of business activities and job losses.
While significant progress has been made in containing the spread of infections during the pandemic, the current rise in infections continues to demand our collective commitment and adherence to all Covid-19 protocols and regulations. We cannot afford to be complacent and let our guard down during this difficult period in our lives.
We must continue to promote peace and safety within our living environments, to work in partnership to combat crime and violence. Our homes, our streets and neighborhoods must be safe for every child, every woman, person with disability, and every elderly person. Christmas must epitomize freedom from fear, anger, abuse, and murder. Christmas is about sharing expressions of love and compassion. Christmas is about the love of God, that is made available to all.
With that note, let us also remember those families who are facing their first Christmas having lost a loved one. We all know that pain and sorrow. Let’s embrace those families as we know that in a time of grief, a kind word, sharing a meal or even just touching base can mean so much.
Let the spirit and celebration of Christmas be the solid rock on which we continue to stand and build a united, democratic, and prosperous Bermuda.
On behalf of my family and the One Bermuda alliance – Merry Christmas.
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