Peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind.
Ladies and gentlemen, fellow Grenadians; with that greeting, I bring you best wishes for this Holy Season of Christmas.
Grenadians are this year observing the Holiday Season against the backdrop of yet another difficult economic year, where they have seen their earning power further eroded in the face of continuing decline in the economy.
The year 2012 will go down as one of the most difficult ones in our modern history.
Given that reality, we appreciate that the observations of this year’s Christmas may be more muted than usual.
Obviously there will be fewer gifts to hand out and maybe a little less food on the table this year.
But as people of faith, we can hold on to some things that are deeper, and that cut to the real true meaning of Christmas.
The very essence of Christmas is built on the message of both faith and hope.
The Christ Child Jesus came into the world, lived and died, so that man can have a second chance. Inbuilt in the message of Christmas is that of redemption and revival. And it is that revival we can all look forward to in the New Year.
Even in the most difficult times, we as a people will not despair nor lose hope.
Yes, it has been difficult; and yes it has been challenging. But with our faith and our collective will as a people, we know we have the potential to turn things around.
And so, we can all look forward to beyond the Christmas season – and to beyond the pain and the hurt.
The coming New Year will provide new opportunities to restart all of our lives.
As a politician, my role — through the grace of God and inspired by the aspirations of you the people — is to offer a leadership that ushers a renewed hope.
With each passing year, I learn more and more through the example of the Christ Child about humility and service.
And even in the rough and tumble of politics, he has also taught us all about forgiveness.
My solemn commitment to you in this season of love, is to strive to be a better person in the leadership I offer to this nation, understanding the power of both revival and redemption.
While we will have less material things than normal this season – the greatest gift we can give each other is Love.
The most difficult times have not dulled our legendary sense of community – of neighbour reaching out to neighbour. That is the Grenadian spirit that is most embodied at Christmas time.
And so, we must use the season to look out for the least among us; for the most destitute; for the sick and for the lonely. And we must, as a people always be forever thankful for the other gifts we have been given.
We were spared any major national disaster this year, and the entire nation beamed with pride following the awe inspiring performance of Kirani James at the Olympics. His homecoming was a rare sign of national unity that was indeed needed and welcomed, and should inspire all of us as we go forward in the New Year.
The performance of our young people in academics, sports and culture continue to give all of us hope.
Grenada is a proud nation with a rich legacy with which we all can be proud.
The party which I lead has revived its organs, refreshed its leadership and has positioned itself to be at the vanguard of the Grenadian recovery we all look forward to.
And so as we observe this season of Christmas let us deepen our faith in our God and our nation, and let us move forward together.
As Leader of the New National Party and as the Leader of the Opposition, I want to wish every Grenadian – at home and abroad – the very best for the season.
We all look forward to even greater things in the New Year.
Remember always the Psalm that says: Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
Once again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I thank you very much.