The following Christmas Message was released by Opposition Leader Cole Simons – One Bermuda Alliance, for publication at 5am, Saturday, December 24, 2022…Christmas Eve…

SEASONS GREETINGS, BERMUDA!

The Christmas holiday season is one of the most treasured holidays in many Bermuda households. It is a time when we join fellow Christians around the world to rejoice in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and his eternal message of everlasting love, compassion, and hope. We also enjoy the time-honored traditions and festivities of being in Bermuda, such as baking and eating delicious cassava or farina pies, turkey, and ham, getting homes painted and ensuring there is more than enough food and fun to go around. 

For many it is a time to joyfully reunite with our families and friends, to re-ignite bonds, and celebrate the gift of life. For others, it is time for meditation, prayer and a fulfilment of spiritual growth, and inner peace. No matter your schedule in this busy Christmas season, I urge all of us to take the time to reminisce and see Christmas from the perspective of our young children. Having their pure and innocent perspective can help to prioritize what is truly important. 

As the late Queen Elizabeth II said in her last Christmas message: “It is the simplicity of the Christmas Story that makes it so universally appealing: simple happenings which formed the starting point of the life of Jesus- a man whose teachings have travelled through generations and time and has been the cornerstone of the Christian faith. His birth marked a new beginning.“ His compassion, love and hope has continued to transcend time and generations.

Indeed, the past year has given us much to reflect upon, in fact, we can all agree that Christmas 2022 is like no other Christmas of the recent past. Internationally, the war in Ukraine, the accompanying supply chain challenges, and global inflation have had our undivided attention. In Bermuda, we continue to navigate our way through the challenging terrain of managing the escalating cost of living, the breakdown of many of our social norms, and the economic challenges, which have deepened, resulting in the disruption of business activities and job losses.

While these unprecedented trials tested our resilience, I am proud to say that Bermuda and her people were not complacent. We did not let our guard down. We got on with restoring our lives, strengthening our families, and rebuilding our economy.

As we re-examine the accomplishments and challenges of 2022, now is the time to firmly focus on new dreams, new possibilities, new hopes, and new aspirations for the future of our families, our nation, and ourselves as individuals.

 The Christmas period is a time for the renewal of our collective resolve as a country, to unite behind the vision of a cohesive, and an inclusive society in pursuit of fundamental freedoms, human rights, peace, and shared prosperity.  We must continue to promote peace and safety.

Our homes, our streets and neighborhoods must be safe for every man, woman, and child, for people with disabilities and for our treasured seniors. 

On that note, let us also remember families who are facing their first Christmas having lost a loved one. Let’s embrace them, as we know that in a time of grief, a kind word, sharing a meal or even just touching base can mean so much.

In this Christmas of 2022, my hope and prayer is that the spirit and celebration of the season will be the solid rock on which we continue to stand together to build a united, democratic, and prosperous Bermuda.

On behalf of my family and the One Bermuda Alliance – we wish you a very Merry Christmas.