My Fellow St. Maarteners,
I bring you warm greetings on this Christmas day from my family to yours. May the spirit of Christmas be your guide this Holiday season. May it inspire us to share its beauty, hope, and renewing spirit.
For Christmas celebrations are not the same for anyone this year. The coronavirus continues to have a serious impact on our lives and livelihood, presenting our country – and the world – with extraordinary challenges. Some of us have faced health issues or lost love ones, have lost or face losing our jobs, and are having difficulty making ends meet. Many of us are weary of social distancing and of wearing masks. And I am thankful for the men and women, who courageously and tirelessly, continue to work on the frontline to protect our lives and livelihood.
In this atmosphere, the pulse of the season is as a result tempered. Attending Christmas Mass is different, visiting extended family and friends ought to be avoided, and for too many there are empty chairs at the Christmas dinner table. To all facing personal loss, as a result of health, economic, social or other causes, I offer my sympathy and encourage you to reflect on the words of the prophet Isaiah that our hope in the Lord will renew our strength.
As we celebrate this Christmas, may we draw renewed strength from these words to carry us forward. In these trying times, Christmas provides us with the promise of renewal. The promise that the sun will set on our challenges, only to bring brighter days with new opportunities at sunrise.
It is in that regard, that I believe that the Christmas spirit will give us, as individuals, as businesses, as government and as a people, renewed strength. Strength to face and overcome health, social, financial, or other challenges that may come our way. Strength to continue to do our part, to reach out to the vulnerable among us and to protect each other.
During this special time of the year, I trust that our gatherings with close family will fortify our family bonds. May our Christmas gatherings remind us of the significance of our mutual interdependence, of the power of kindness, and of the importance of protecting and caring for each other. And by extension inspire us to strengthen our relationships with our friends, with our colleagues, with our neighbours and with our partners. Yes, inspire stronger relationships founded on greater appreciation for each other. This, with the purpose of uplifting each other and perfecting our sweet St. Maarten Land.
My fellow St. Maarteners, as we gather with close family to celebrate the birth of Christ, let us embrace the season’s power of renewing strength. And may the renewing power of Christmas make things lighter and brighten our way, now and into the New Year.
It is in that spirit of renewed strength that Marie-Louise and I wish you and your family, joyous, safe, and hope-filled Christmas holidays!
God bless you and May God bless St. Maarten and protect its coast.
The Governor of St. Maarten
Eugene B. Holiday