Even as you gather your family around you and you focus on reaching out to friends and neighbors with goodwill, your mind will naturally turn to your homeland. Just like us who are at home, memories of your youthful days of youthful friends come flooding into your thoughts. Thoughts of masquerades, of caroling and the cool nights of December and Christmas Eve in Charlestown and the hustle and bustle, with fire-crackers lighting the sky and the sense of joy and community.
We were blessed then and we are blessed now. Nevis is at its best this time of the year. Everywhere is lush. Fruits and provisions are plentiful and most people are working.
Indeed we are fortunate. All around us there are problems, earthquakes in the Far East and hurricanes, unrest in the Middle East, demonstrations in Europe and people out of work in some of our neighboring Caribbean islands.
Comparatively, we enjoy the fruits of democracy. People move and speak freely and the good Lord has blessed us with a storm free and a disaster free year.
Yes, we continue in a world of recession. We feel the impact, in that families abroad are not in a position to send remittances like before. We face the challenges of debt reduction and rising prices, but we have hope. Our hope is founded in our trust in God who has guided us so far. Our hope is also based on the fact that we have successfully combated the worst storms of the recession and now, the first light of better days are before us.
Even as we reach out to grasp the opportunities that will present themselves let us rest a while to enjoy the Christmas season.
I want us to make the effort to spend time with family. The family is the first unit of stability of safety and security. When all is lost there is still family. It behooves us therefore, to renew family ties, to express words of appreciation and love to family; to extend our arms of generosity and to renew our commitment to them.
I want us to pay particular attention to our children, especially the boys. We must accept that they are placed under tremendous pressure to prove themselves to their peers that they are men. Quite often it relates to becoming members of gangs and basically to turn their backs on education and things positive that could eventually make a great difference in their lives. Take time out to embrace and guide our boys.
Remember our security forces, especially the Police. We are to thank them for their efforts to control crime in the face of great odds. Give them our support and do something visible and concrete for an officer.
Finally, be good to each other and to yourselves. Let kind and healthy thoughts prevail. Let us all go to church and thank God for his many blessings that we have experienced in 2011.
On behalf of the members of my Cabinet and the Government of Nevis, on behalf of my wife and my family, a blessed Christmas is wished to you all at home and abroad. May peace and satisfaction prevail.
May God bless us all!