Prime Minister’s Christmas greeting
Christmas always seems to come by stealth in the middle of the busiest time of year. We rush to get our work done, to fix up the home and get it ready for the festivities. But what if we learned some tolerance for unfinished business, and accepted that we've done enough already? When daily life stops for a while and we get to take a break, then the Yuletide season can bring much-needed peace of mind.
Christmas is a blend of old and new traditions that arouses shared and individual memories. There are sounds and smells and flavours; simple things that we have learned to appreciate even more amidst the ongoing pandemic. As the world around us changes, Christmas feels familiar and safe. Maybe that’s the true magic of the season.
Even though many familiar Christmas traditions and customs date back only a few decades or began as little as a century ago, the midwinter feast was celebrated at these latitudes long before our modern Christmas took on its present form and meaning. It was as if we had an age-old need to stop working, calm down and celebrate when the longest night of the year was finally behind us.
Christmas has come around again this year, just as spring will follow the winter.
The last two years have called for patience, adaptation and flexibility. Many people have lost loved ones, or been concerned for their own health or that of a family member. Christmas may also be overshadowed by worries about work and livelihood as a renewed need for restrictions has arisen.
We have yet to discover what next year will bring, but I want to believe that better times are coming. Vaccines have brought a measure of security, and they remain the most important and effective way to fight the pandemic. We should protect ourselves and care for one another.
I sincerely hope that everyone has time at Christmas to pause for at least a moment and enjoy the festivities. Each in accordance with our own heritage, or boldly creating new traditions. I personally look forward to spending peaceful time together with my family and loved ones.
Christmas is an opportunity to rest, extend a helping hand, reflect on things past, and consider the future. Together, we can get through anything that life throws at us.
I wish you all a peaceful and joyous Christmas season!