Remember, the first Christmas was a simple one
This has been a difficult and challenging year. We’ve all had to do things differently – and many here and around the world are wondering, what will Christmas look like this year? How will we celebrate during a pandemic that has us physical distancing; not hugging, not shaking hands or meeting in large groups.
For the most part, this holiday season will not be ‘business as usual’, we will be doing things unfamiliar to the way that we are used to doing them. Not everyone will be able to spend Christmas with friends and family and I expect that there will be a lot of celebrating via the Internet and social media.
Some of our gatherings and church services will be smaller, and many Christmas parties and events have either been cancelled or scaled back. But this does not mean that we cannot get excited about Christmas. We can, and we should.
We can still prepare our traditional Christmas dinners; we can spend time with our close family, worship, exchange gifts, decorate our homes and enjoy the Bermuda traditions that make this holiday unique and special - while observing the precautions that have kept us all safe.
Remember, that first Christmas was a simple one without all of the commercialisation that this season now entails. It was a small family, celebrating the gift of life and the promise that life would bring to the world. Perhaps a simple Christmas is just what the world and Bermuda need right now, to help us reset and renew.
Let us look back on this year with thanksgiving for all that we have accomplished as a community, shielding the most vulnerable and working together to keep each other safe.
And, while we celebrate the gift of life, let us not forget to remember those who may have that unfamiliar empty seat at this year’s table.
Many in our community have had a difficult year, whether it be the loss of a family member or the loss of a job, and are struggling emotionally or financially. Though we are physically distant, we must open our hearts and assist them in the true spirit of Christmas, with kindness and generosity. Just like we have found new ways to live during the Pandemic, we must find new ways to give.
As we do every year, our family will give of our time and help those less fortunate. We want to make sure that they know that they are not forgotten during this time of uncertainty. There is real joy in giving and helping others, and we will include our children in our efforts so that they too can experience the joy of giving and appreciate that helping others is essential.
Christmas is about the miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ, and for many of us, this is a significant part of our lives and our faith. This story symbolizes the very essence of this Season and reminds us that God loved us so much that he sent his Son to save us. Even during this pandemic, we must not lose sight of the meaning of the Season.
This is the season of healing, peace, joy, renewed strength and love.
Let us all cherish this Christmas.
Bermuda, we have shown that our unity, our perseverance and our innovation have helped us to successfully manage the coronavirus pandemic. We have much to celebrate and to be thankful for. I am confident that Bermuda will emerge stronger, our economy will get better, people who have lost jobs will return to work, and our routines will eventually return to normal.
I encourage everyone to celebrate and enjoy the holidays. Please make the time to relax, and let’s all make the time to enjoy our families, as we celebrate our traditions.
On behalf of the Government of Bermuda, May God bless you and your family. May your holidays be safe, peaceful and filled with joy.
And from our family to yours, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.