Greetings and Merry Christmas.
For many of us in Bermuda, Christmas has a profound meaning.
The miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ is a significant part of peopleís lives and of their faith. This story symbolises the very essence of this season and is a symbol of the love our Creator has for us.
Our Christmas culture fills Christians, those of other faiths, and non-believers with joy as we relish the opportunity to spend time with friends, relatives, and people we meet for the first time.
In Bermuda we have many traditions that make this holiday unique and truly special for each one of us.
Whether it be that special Christmas dish or Christmas drink, decorations inside and outside of the home, following the Gombeys on Boxing Day, or a trip to the beach, we take the time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to reconnect with those close to us.
Christmas is an occasion when we take time to give, to share, to love and to care; counting our many blessings and of course, sharing these blessings with others.
During the holiday season, we remember and assist those who are less fortunate, the sick and shut-in, people who are struggling financially, those who are alone for the holidays, and people grieving the loss of a loved one.
Let us not forget that there are Bermudians who need our love, and we must open our hearts and homes to assist them in the spirit of Christmas.
Let us also remember those who will not be with their families on Christmas Day as they serve our community.
Whether they be prison, police, or fire officers, or those working at our ports, in public transport, and our hospital, I extend to them the gratitude of a grateful country for their service and their sacrifice.
Despite the challenges that our island faces, we are truly a blessed country and we have much to be thankful for.
This holiday season letís remember to appreciate what we have, cherish friends and family, and love one another.
It is important that the spirit of that love, that is, the essence of the season with the gift of Christ, be shared with all during this Christmas holiday.
As Christ was a symbol of Godís love, in Bermuda we need more love in our homes, in our communities, in our schools, in our workplaces, and in our government.
So letís spread that love. Maybe it is an estranged family member or friend, a neighbour who you may have fallen out with, or even a stranger.
If you are thinking about reaching out to someone, or inviting someone to your table, donít doubt yourself, make that call or send that message and let us all spread the love of the season.
On behalf of the Government of Bermuda, may God bless you and your family. May your holidays be safe, peaceful and filled with joy.
And from our family to yours, merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!