December 21, 2010
Tis de Season


For most Vincentians, Christmas 2010 will perhaps be like no other. Never has our traditional season of goodwill been so heavily influenced politically. The general elections were less than a fortnight before Christmas and the post-election activities ran right into the last week before the Big Day.{{more}} Indeed, even the traditional community carol singing did not take place last weekend; the “We Three Kings” ritual having been replaced by the swearing in of a new Cabinet.

The recriminations emanating from the elections have not helped either. The Opposition and its supporters continue to complain bitterly, even as the Government and its own flock bask in their narrow victory. It does not augur well for the country as a whole, or for social cohesion. The divide is pronounced and the battle lines still drawn. That is no way for us to embark on celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace.

The “Tis de Season to be Jolly,” slogan will have a hollow ring as long as we continue to harbour the deep divisions threatening to tear our society apart. But this in turn challenges the depth of our professed Christianity. For it is that commitment to the greater good of humankind, that love for our neighbour taught by the Being in whose name we celebrate Christmas, that “peace on earth” we utter so glibly, which we are now called upon to put into practice.

What better time for us to begin the process of healing, in divided families, in communities ripped asunder by political tribalism, in a society rapidly losing its national identity to partisan loyalties, than at Christmas time? It presents us with the opportunity to reach out once more, to touch and be touched, to care and be cared for, to transcend our petty divisiveness and in the true spirit of Christianity, not only worship as one, but truly engage each other in a spirit of love and harmony which would place our political rivalries in proper perspective and make them pale in insignificance in the face of our common faith in the Christ Child and the true meaning of Christmas.