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We have much to be thankful for

The Hon. Paula A. Cox JP, MP, Premier of Bermuda

Christmas is a bittersweet time. We remember those who are no longer with us even as we celebrate this very special season. Spare a thought for those families who have lost loved ones. Give them a hug, a smile. Support those who are giving to others less fortunate. Sing the Christmas carols with gusto.Remember the spirit of the season. The birth of Christ is an awesome example of the power of love and the need to look out for each other. We need to honour one another. There are many who are living lives of quiet desperation. They need us to reach out to them.They may just need someone to listen and to truly hear them. Create a safe place, for although we may fall, yet still we can rise. There is power in prayer.We can get so busy on life's treadmill that too often we forget. Christmas, after all, is a chance to be the good neighbour, to show the duty of care to those whose lives we impact every day.It is also a time to pause for just one moment to reflect on the year's triumphs and tragedies, accomplishments and disappointments.We have had a mixed bag this year. As a Country, we have had our highs and our lows. Yet we continue to weather the storms because that is just who we are. Bermuda is made up of a resilient, proud, resourceful, talented and wonderful people.The Christmas holiday… this festive season, community and family activities remind us of the beauty of our Country and our roots.Even when we may find it bitterly cold outside, we can find warmth in our friendships and by spending time with those we love and care for.What is special and magical about Christmas for me is that generally it is a happy time and it provides a chance to relax, to reset the dial and to reflect about all that has happened during the year.If you are like me, you take time to catch up with family and friends and also think about how to improve next year.So it is fun and sober contemplation. At this time of the year we are in a hope spot.In Bermuda we have much to be thankful for. Our people have the ability to tackle the bitter and the sweet selflessly, with a clear vision and sense of purpose.So as you gather around the Christmas table, laugh, love, enjoy family and friends. Savour the traditions that touch our souls and bring out the best in each of us.And when the whistle sounds and the drumbeat of the gombeys calls, dance!Dance in celebration of a renewed people who honour our history, our music, our community and our home. These actions pay homage to the true meaning of Christmas a birth, a gift and a sacrifice for all of humankind.We enter this New Year with hope and anticipation, with fortitude and resolve to bring about a better nation, a better Country for us all.On behalf of the Government to the people of Bermuda, let me say that as public servants, we are committed to doing the necessary so that Bermuda has a brighter future.Public service is more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation, with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration.May this season provide you with a multitude of reasons to be thankful and the opportunity to share that good fortune with friends, family and the entire community of Bermuda.My husband Germain joins me along with our son Stephane, in extending to you and your families the warmest of greetings for this Holiday Season.