Wednesday 17 July, 2019

'Old time Jamaican Christmas' has returned to many areas, says Holness

Andrew Holness

Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says many communities are once again able to enjoy an "old time Jamaican Christmas" free of violence.

However, the prime minister, in his 2018 Christmas Day message, said more needs to be done to return the peace all across the island which has long suffered from violence. 

Describing a nostalgic Christmas scene in Jamaica, in the true spirit of the season, Holness said, "Nowhere in this narrative, is there any room for violence, our children are safe, returning residents have no fear, no guns are about, peace and love, joy and kindness abound.

"This is the true, authentic Jamaican Christmas we can enjoy once more, where everyone is looking out for each other, spreading good vibes and good cheer," the prime minister continued, noting that "I am certain that in many parts of Jamaica the nostalgic Christmas scene I described is unfolding, but sadly, in other areas, people are being impacted by violence."

Against the background of the security measures which have led to a 21 per cent decline in murders since the start of the year, Holness thanked members of the security forces for their services.

"You all work tirelessly to serve and protect and look after the needs of our people and you do so selflessly, every day, even on Christmas day. We recognize your sacrifice and we are truly grateful," Holness said.

He urged all citizens to help build peaceful communities and "demonstrate the true meaning of our Jamaican spirit, giving with love, being good neighbours, and good countrymen and women."

See full text of Holness' Christmas Day Message below.

 

What a blessing it is for us to celebrate and commemorate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as we acknowledge that He is the reason for the season.

Take a walk with me down memory lane, as we revisit the old time Jamaican Christmas.

Children are happy, laughing and playing, families coming together, the barrels cleared, carols playing, traditional spirited sorrel and fruitcake being made.

Rice and gungo peas being cooked, the aromatic smell of every kind of meat is on the table for the Christmas feast.

No one is left out. Sounds of merriment can be heard in every rural community and every urban place, grand market, Junkanoo and Christmas Service.

Nowhere in this narrative, is there any room for violence, our children are safe, returning residents have no fear, no guns are about, peace and love, joy and kindness abound.

This is the true, authentic Jamaican Christmas we can enjoy once more, where everyone is looking out for each other, spreading good vibes and good cheer.

I am certain that in many parts of Jamaica the nostalgic Christmas scene I described is unfolding, but sadly, in other areas, people are being impacted by violence.

There are elderly people in need of our kindness, homeless people in need of food; children in need of something to put a smile on their faces.

I invite you to remember the poor, the sick, the disabled, the forgotten and marginalized this season, let them benefit from our charity.

We know that each year we are faced with challenges, but
Jamaicans are hardworking and resilient, no matter what the challenges are, we will overcome.

– Despite hardships, we will persevere;
– Despite disappointments, we press on and;
– Despite challenges, we will rise.

It is within our power to make small yet meaningful impacts on the lives of everyone we encounter.

It is within our capacity to build peaceful communities and to ensure that this season and always, every Jamaican feels safe, loved and valued.

Let us demonstrate the true meaning of our Jamaican spirit, giving with love, being good neighbours, and good countrymen and women.

As I wish all Jamaicans the joy the season brings, I acknowledge the members of the security forces and the essential services. You all work tirelessly to serve and protect and look after the needs of our people and you do so selflessly, every day, even on Christmas day. We recognize your sacrifice and we are truly grateful.

As we celebrate this Christmas season I leave you with Luke 2:14, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men.

On behalf of Juliet and the boys and the entire Government; I wish you peace, love and prosperity.

Merry Christmas Jamaica.

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