ALAS, it’s finally here! The season when peace, good tidings and cheerful hearts are the prevailing themes on the minds of many people across the world, especially Christians: it’s Christmas!
Now is the time of year when many people look back and take stock of the trials and triumphs through which they had to navigate – willfully or unwittingly. And what a year it was! It was a year in which government was continuously called upon to deliver on promises – including being accountable – as well as shape its policies in such a way that future generations would still have a country to call theirs.
Also, it was a year in which crime seemed to escalate to the point where even law enforcement seemed backed into the corner. The island has to date recorded an unprecedented level of homicides in recent memory – 55 – while other forms of violence also made the citizenry raises its eyebrows higher than usual.
Although downplayed by certain sectors, joblessness went down by nearly 4% in the third quarter of this year. Considering the economic blight that has plagued Saint Lucia for years, that drop in employment should serve as some encouragement for both the private and public sectors to collaborate even closer to achieve greater results.
Despite a list of economic projects expected to come on-stream next year, many Saint Lucians are still finding it difficult to experience the kind of Christmas that calypsonian Jeff “Pelay” Elva has popularized in his calypsos. A cursory glance of the business activity that obtained just this week indicates that not many Saint Lucians are as keen to part with their few dollars. Or maybe, not just yet. However, there was a shortage of eggs!
But, as the years have proven, Saint Lucians far and near, still manage to celebrate the Christmas spirit, even if their pockets are not as healthy as the days of green gold. Whether they are in the wintery climes of Brooklyn, Ontario, Taipei or London, or sheltering from the sporadic rains at home, some remnant of a truly Saint Lucian Christmas remains, if only for Pelay’s nostalgic voice singing it on the radio.
That is why it is so important that this Christmas season we continue to extend our charitable spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood by being each other’s keeper. Now is the time to reach out to that sister or brother in need in offering a slice or sip of whatever bounty we have been blessed with to those less fortunate among us. Let’s reach out to ours. The year ahead will definitely pose a new round of challenges for all of us, so sharing and caring for ours should be one of the hallmarks we keep as we head into another chapter of our nation’s history.
From all of us at The VOICE Publishing Company, Merry Christmas, and thanks for sharing your time, views and partnership with us for the past year. We hope we have shared something invaluable with you as well.