MY FELLOW BARBADIANS, this is the time of the year that
reminds us most of all of the things that make life worth living.
It is a time for giving and for sharing.
It is a time for putting aside differences and for letting peace and goodwill
reign among us.
It is also the time when family, friendship and fellowship matter most.
This is also the time when the basic goodness of humanity, regard for
our fellow beings and respect for traditions and values of great worth
and longstanding have a presence everywhere around us.
It is also a time to celebrate and to express good cheer and happiness,
and to look to the future with optimism.
The spirit of Christmas is a wonderful thing.
It would be good if it could be with us in Barbados all through the year.
For we have achieved a lot.
At a time when so much of the rest of the world is consumed by strife
and immersed in all kinds of difficulties, it is good that, in our little
island, we continue to be motivated by the best Christian values and by
the determination to make this a land of genuine opportunity for all.
Barbados has a lot to be thankful for, and a lot to celebrate, and I trust
that we will all do so in the fashion that has always made Christmas meaningful
and memorable in the lives of our people.
In some countries there is now the attempt to rob Christmas of much of
its meaning; to take the aspect of religious faith out of it and to cause
it to become no more than just another holiday withlots of spending.
But we must never come to this in Barbados.
We must keep before us, always, the true spirit of Christmas and continue
to draw hope and strength from the good values and traditions it has promoted
for so very long in our nation.
On this Christmas day of the year 2005 Barbadians should also look to
the future with a strong sense of optimism.
Before us are the prospects of making remarkable progress in our economic
affairs, maintaining peace and goodwill throughout our nation, and making
more social opportunities available to our people.
It would be good if we could all pledge to each do our part to make this
land, already richly blessed, an even better place to live, and to let
the spirit of Christmas be with us throughout the year.
On behalf of the Government of Barbados I extend to all Barbadians and
to our visiting guests best wishes for a very Merry Christmas.
I trust also that the New Year will bring a special fulfillment to each
and everyone of you, and that God will continue to bless this fair land,
now and forever.
Merry Christmas, Barbados.