December 23, 2004

Peace to all…

The Christmas period has come and brought with it the usual mad rush as many of our citizens get caught up in the moment.

It is tradition that Vincentians, as house proud as we are, seek to beautify their homes even more at Christmastime. {{more}}It is as though we were expecting the Christ to pay us all a personal visit. Many homes have been repainted, gardens cleaned, the shopping had started early with stores opening their doors late and during the past three weeks, on Sunday. This gave the city an extra degree of night activity, which many revelled in. Those merchants who were savvy enough to leave their doors open cashed in on the bounty.

Public servants had been given a two hundred-dollar gift, which was announced during the Budget debate. But the remittances from relations abroad would have been quickly spent as our people prepared for Christmas.

But here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it has not all been about falling slave to the growing commercialism associated with Christmas. Ours is one country that can boast about a marked trend toward making Christ the reason for the season. It is seen among the enjoyment at Nine Mornings, which used to be marked principally with fetes in dancehalls. The trend is for Nine Mornings festivities to begin with worship. Churches have become much more assertive and are reaching out to people, which is positive.

At this time, we reinforce the call for a spirit of oneness. We urge the abandonment of the political tribalism that often threatens to make us so bitter; that makes acquaintances who share divergent opinions on the way forward for our nation act like enemies. This was never the example that Jesus Christ left for us.

Christ taught us love and forgiveness, qualities that would serve us all well as we symbolically celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace.

There is another silent message of Christmas. It marks the transitory period from one year to the other. While we are caught up with the celebration, there must be sober reflection, and at the same time look ahead to continue to progress and be positive and improve in all our endeavours.

As we celebrate Christmas, we at SEARCHLIGHT take the opportunity to wish all you our readers Peace as we thank you for your support throughout this year.