Brothers and sisters.
The season characterized by joy and good cheer is here with us once more! And I know that many of you, had hoped and even prayed for a COVID-free Christmas. Unfortunately, we are still battling a dangerous pandemic that continues to worsen, taking more lives and ravaging economies across the world.
Therefore, Christmas will be quite different this year. It will require all of us to be more responsible in our daily lives and accepting of our present realities. Due to the effects of this pandemic, Christmas will not be a time of abundance for many and it ought not to be anywhere near as festive as we have grown accustomed to.
Ham and grog will not be a possibility for many of us; and for many children, presents may not be under the Christmas tree. Therefore, this means we have to truly support one another. We must actively demonstrate kindness and compassion even more during this season.
But Christmas really is about the birth of hope and redemption, through our Saviour Jesus Christ. It is also a reminder that things will get better eventually. This Christmas, let us also examine all that we are giving birth to internally. Let us challenge ourselves to give birth to all that is positive and uplifting, and an unflinching hope in the face of despair.
We are indeed quite blessed to live to see another Christmas, especially after a year that has claimed way too many lives. We are blessed to be an island that has managed an unprecedented crisis quite well, thus far.
This pandemic strikes at the heart of Christmas as we know it – eating, drinking and liming with family and friends, moving from house to house. Quite unfortunately, this year’s celebration will require us to operate differently. The festivities should not be near as grand as we’re accustomed to. We must act responsibly. I wish to remind each of you to continue to diligently observe all health and safety protocols in an effort to beat COVID-19.
Wear your mask, wash or sanitize your hands and avoid large gatherings. I repeat, avoid large gatherings. It is my belief that we will come out of this pandemic much more resilient.
So on behalf of the Tobago House of Assembly and my family, I want to wish you a bright and safe Christmas! Merry Christmas to one and all!