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Christmas Message 2010 by the Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller

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My fellow Jamaicans:
The central themes from the original message of Christmas are joy, peace and goodwill. Today, these are the sentiments which define my thoughts for our nation and our people.

So I invite you to join with me in accentuating the positives in us.

Christmas is the season of good cheer. It affords us the opportunity to pause from the regular routines of life and to focus on the reason for the season and the good in ourselves.

Christmas is a time to reach out in love and to touch with kindness those we care for, and particularly the less fortunate among us.

The hardships we have faced should build our resolve to always remember the real meaning of Christmas.

Today we celebrate the birth of Christ.
Today we focus on the wonders he has performed.
Today we give thanks for the joy we have experienced as individuals, families and as a country.
Today we sing joyous songs of peace on earth and goodwill to all men, women and children.

After all, like the choirs singing praises across the country, in every church and at every carol service we have a special opportunity to reach out in love.

Let us hear the children’s voices, the adults and the aged sing in unison the original messages of Christmas – joy to the world, peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

When I think of Joy, I picture the Jamaican family at Christmastime.

I consider for a moment the challenges and frustrations that so many of us, our mothers and fathers, our sisters and brothers, our sons and daughters are facing.

Yet, I pray for the Jamaican family that even in these trying times we are able to find joy.

Let us be reminded that real joy is not to be found in material gifts.

Real joy is to be found in the comfort of knowing that we are respected as human beings.

Real joy is in the beauty of a smile; the simplicity of a song and the warmth of an embrace.

Those are gifts we all have, and we must share them with pride.

Real joy comes from the love and support of those who are close to us.

There is, after all; no greater gift than the purity of love.

As we share the Joy of Christmas, I ask you to join me in prayers for peace this Christmas and beyond.

When a choir sings in harmony, it is such a beautiful sound.

Every voice complements the other.
This is how we must approach our lives.

Each day must be a carol.
As a nation we must make sweet music TOGETHER as ONE.

The music is sweetest when and where there is peace heavenly peace.

“Goodwill to all men” and women, is another important Christmas Message, one we should take with us throughout the year.

My fellow Jamaicans, the essential character of a nation and a people is measured by the way we treat our citizens, and especially those who cannot help themselves.

We must recover our sense of goodwill towards all our fellow citizens in this our homeland.

We must recapture the essence of what it is to be Jamaican.
We must show the care and consideration that is so naturally a part of who we are as a people.
We can do this; and we must.

But Goodwill must extend beyond our inner circle of family and friends.

We must spread our goodwill to our neighbors and our wider communities.

  • Will you spare a thought for the less fortunate in your midst?
  • Will you consider those who are alone and materially deprived?
  • Have you reached out to someone to show them you care?

There is still time because Joy, Peace and Goodwill are like melody, harmony and rhythm.

Beautiful renditions of the life we want for ourselves, for those we love and for our country.

Peace in Jamaica and Goodwill towards each other are achievable goals for those who believe, who care and who are prepared to act.

Do you believe?

I believe.

I believe that as a people we care, and I believe as a nation we will act to make this a Christmas of Joy, Peace and Goodwill!

The Jamaican voices of Boney M sang it in celebration:

“Hark now hear the Angels Sing, a King was born today and Man will live forever more, because of Christmas Day”

May this Christmas be a wonderful time of reflection, of caring and of sharing for Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora.

I ask that you be conscious and careful on the roads and in all your activities so that the peacefulness of the Season will not be shattered by the pain of accidents and the loss of loved ones.

I ask too, that we refrain from any behavior that will impact adversely on our neighbours, our families or ourselves.

Have a peaceful, happy and holy Christmas.
One that is filled with Joy, Peace and Goodwill!
May God bless you all!
May God bless Jamaica land we love.

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