Christmas has always been the best time of year for me. Since I was a little boy I looked forward to Christmas with bated breath. Attending Church to hear about the real meaning of Christmas, Christmas music, tree trimming, shopping for family and friends (and persons you simply wanted to put a smile on their faces) candy canes, Christmas trees, Santa Clause and toys all come to mind. My parents made Christmas even more special. They really went out of their way to ensure that their children had a wonderful time. My siblings and I thank them for all their efforts for all those years. My wife and I try to do the same thing with our children. The look in their eyes and the excitement that abounds are identical and reminiscent of what I term “the good old days” for me.
I still get excited about Christmas. I start playing Christmas music from October of each year and stop on “the Twelfth Night”. However during the Christmas Season and as we end another year, I do take the time to reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead. On reflection, I thank God, as I always do, for his many blessings. But it was certainly a most difficult year. The economy continued to struggle with increased unemployment and businesses struggling to keep their doors open. Crime and the fear of crime have totally gone out of control. We do not live in a safe Bahamas and as each day passes it is increasingly difficult to say that it is truly better in the Bahamas. Rudeness, not kindness, seems to be the order of the day! Social ills are mounting and we seem not to be our brother’s keeper. There is a lack of National Pride in our beloved country and a total lack of respect for our environment. Somewhere we have gone wrong for such a once peace loving country that recently celebrated 40 years of Independence. We must get back on track before we completely lose what is left of this place we call the Bahamas.
What we desperately need at this Christmas season and throughout the year is the “restoration of peace” – peace with God, peace with others and peace in our own hearts. Indeed, this season is about the arrival of the “Prince of Peace” who taught us in His word not only the way to peace but empowered us to live lives of peace if we trust Him. Now it is incumbent on each of us to promote “Peace on earth and goodwill towards men”, not only at Christmas time but all year round! Yes indeed, the real spirit of Christmas is to have the state of mind to cherish peace and goodwill…to be plenteous in mercy. This is indeed my Christmas wish for the people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
To all Bahamians everywhere, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous, Healthy and Safe 2014. May God bless us all and may God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.