KINGSTON, Jamaica – Christmas is a time when Jamaicans, wherever they are, think of home and family.
It is a special season of worship, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
It is also a time of fellowship, festivity and thanksgiving.
Of course, thanksgiving embraces the act of giving and I am happy to see this true Jamaican spirit of generosity very much in evidence.
Some of us have chosen to show our care by giving Christmas presents to children in places of safety, children’s homes and our senior citizens in homes.
Others share with their fellow citizens and with those who are challenged by their poor circumstances.
Members of churches, civic and charitable organizations as well as caring individuals have reached out to bring cheer to the children and adults who are confined to institutions.
Still others plan to feed the homeless over the holiday season.
All over, Jamaicans are giving and sharing.
There will always be those who will measure the spirit of the season by the amount of money in circulation.
I would like to suggest that we focus more attention on the amount of love that is in circulation.
Let us aim to increase the caring and sharing to record levels, by spending time with the lonely;
With those who have lost family members during the year;
With our senior citizens who can no longer move about;
And with those, of all ages, who hunger for a warm embrace and a few precious moments of our time.
The human touch really matters.
Remember the children. We can all do something special this holiday season that will make their eyes light up and put a smile on their faces.
Let us make sure that everyone is touched by the true spirit of Christmas.
For one brief moment, we can look away from what is lacking and what is missing.
Instead, count our blessings, starting with life itself.
No one can claim that we are free of challenges, as a nation.
But if we stop and think about it, we have much for which we can be thankful.
Let us acknowledge that Jamaica is a nation abundantly blessed and highly favoured by god.
As we let our hearts be filled with the spirit of love, peace and goodwill, let us be inspired anew and re-energized for the New Year.
We will be refreshed and ready to continue the work of building the pleasant, peaceful, productive and prosperous Jamaica, which we all desire.
For now, the Christmas breeze is blowing and the poinsettia is blooming. It’s Christmas.
With a big heart of love, I send this message to all Jamaicans; those at home and abroad, and to all our visitors.
I wish you the best Christmas ever; one that is overflowing with love, joy, peace and happiness!
May god continue to bless us all during this holiday season and throughout the New Year?
Portia Simpson Miller,