A wish list for the season that goes beyond material gifts

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  • <B>Dany Pen</B>, of the Bermuda National Gallery, is hoping people remember the spirit of the holidays and the importance of giving. <B></B>

    Dany Pen, of the Bermuda National Gallery, is hoping people remember the spirit of the holidays and the importance of giving.

  • <B>Nadanja Bailey</B> is known for being funny, but said he hopes people take the holidays to embrace each other.

    Nadanja Bailey is known for being funny, but said he hopes people take the holidays to embrace each other.


Many of us get bogged down with the commercial aspects of the Christmas holiday, but there seem to be even more who remember the deeper meaning behind the day.

For at least one week of the year, people tend to put their petty differences aside and relish in the simple joys of life time with family and the importance of giving.

The Royal Gazette Lifestyle section polled some of our sources to find out what “non-material” gifts the were hoping for this holiday season be it health for their family or unity in the wider community.

Jeanne Legere, managing director at Jackson’s School of Dance, said she wants people to spend the season counting their blessings. “My hopes for the coming year and many years to follow would be a coming together of all Bermudians to realise how lucky we are compared to some other countries and to stop all of the bickering and make this a better safer place to live and work in. Put petty politics aside and lets get our act together! We need to do it for our children.”

Artist Lexy Correia left her job as a corporate administrator to follow her passion several months ago. She believes the troubled global economy has allowed “the focus of the holiday season to be where it should on what is important: love, family, friends”.

“My wish is for everyone to truly count their blessings. Even when it seems like there aren’t any, you are truly blessed. Remember what is important and that spending time together is priceless and something you can’t wrap up and give away. “

Executive director of The Family Centre, Martha Dismont, said she hoped the Country would “feel God’s great love”.

“For our community I hope our young people to feel the warm embrace of a nurturing, compassionate, and supportive community. I want families to help each other to be the best that you can be, and to remember that with rights come responsibilities. And for myself I want to be kinder and gentler, and a true advocate for those who need it.”

Government Senator Jonathan Smith said it’s been “great” to see more people giving this year than in the past.

“There are Bermudians in real need and just to see the giving of a tree, children’s toys or food hampers reinforces all that is good about our Island home. On the personal front, it’s just great to be reunited with our adult sons, two of whom flew in from the UK where they are at university.”

Artist Ami Zanders said she hoped everyone’s holiday was filled with joy and laughter. “I wish everyone the best Christmas ever! Let your dinner plates be full of turkey, cassava pie, extra cheesy macaroni and pumpkin pie and your cups be full of rum egg nog and wine (but not in the same cup because that’s gross)!

“Rest, enjoy and be thankful! And also to all you gangbangers out there give this weekend a rest. It’s Christmas for goodness sake!”

Governor Sir Richard Gozney said he looked forward to getting the chance to wake up each day and do the best job possible for the Island.

“My hope for the holiday season and 2012 is to wake up each morning still wanting to get up and to get cracking. Why? Because that means that I still have the appetite for doing what I can, with my family this Christmas and, when we get into 2012, for the sake of the wonderful island of Bermuda especially in overseeing the authorities of law and order.”

Gita Blakeney Saltus is the regional vice president of drug rehabilitation centre Caron Bermuda. She said her heartfelt wish for Bermuda and its people this holiday season was “one of compassion, hope and healing for 2012 and beyond”.

“We are poised to be the ‘jewel of the world’ through our unified courage and optimism for the future,” she said.

Liz Boden who educates people on asthma through the charity Open Airways said she hoped people would take steps to breathe easier this holiday season. “I would like everyone with asthma to take their ‘preventer’ every day to keep their asthma away!”

Comedian and entertainer Nadanja Bailey said he hoped people would take the time to embrace others this holiday season. “I would like to just say to everyone when they are out and about having a great time with family and friends this is that time of year when you need to be in the giving mood.

“So if someone brings someone else to your house that you didn’t invite allow them to have some eggnog or turkey instead of getting an attitude because it has happened in the past.”

Fern Wade of charity Hands of Love Ministry has worked to feed 350 families this holiday season. She said: “For myself and family I wish for health and strength, which is wealth. For the community I hope for unity and love for each other; and for Bermuda in general that Bermudians would get back to the spiritual side of us, like God and family, and get back to paying more attention to what money cannot buy, like family, morality, caring and sharing.”

Dedicated volunteer Kerry Judd, who mentors young people through the Mirrors programme, said: “My wish for my community this season is that every single young person would have a sense of security and community support.

“I also wish that every member of our community would open their minds and actions to forgive those who they may feel wronged by and in that do whatever is necessary to stabilise the social and economic stability of Bermuda, even if it pulls us completely out of our comfort zone.”

Melvyn Basett of Sandys 360 Community Centre said: “I would very much pray for healing, understanding, peace and love for and between our youth!”

While Deidra Lee Bean, the administrative director of the Chewstick Foundation, said she would like to see Bermudians come together to celebrate our unique identities, stories, and traditions.

“I wish for more people to actually be conscious about the reason for getting together and to uphold key principles such as unity, self-determination, purpose, creativity, faith, and cooperation in our work endeavours.”

She continued: “I [also] hope that people support projects that focus on young people, local flair, storytelling, and positive enjoyment. I really wish for a healing and a shift of consciousness whereby people come together and share the best of themselves.”

Bermuda National Gallery’s education officer Dany Pen said: “This holiday season, my hope is for everyone to look out for one another in this time of need. Give a helping hand whether it be a word of advice, a bag of groceries or volunteering at one of our charities. When we look we look out for one another, our community grows stronger. Live, love and stay safe.”

Singer Mia Chambray said: “I’d like to see a revival of our Bermudian pride and values. Its such an incredibly special honour to be Bermudian, something we need to celebrate.”

Ian Hind, director of operations at Bermuda Emissions Control Ltd, said he disagreed with much of the commercialisation of the Christmas holiday.

“Having said that, I do enjoy the warmth between friends and throughout communities that it brings, the time to reflect on missing family members and friends and the companionship and fellowship that comes to the fore at this time of year. And I like buying my wonderful wife lovely presents because she deserves them!”

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Published Dec 23, 2011 at 7:59 am (Updated Dec 23, 2011 at 7:58 am)

A wish list for the season that goes beyond material gifts

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