Christmas message 2010

24 December 2010 | State House

December 24, 2010 -- Christmas, the special time of the year for loving, sharing and giving, is here again. For a large part of humanity, especially the children, Christmas is our greatest celebration of peace on earth and goodwill between all peoples.

Christmas is holy. It is an expression of our spiritual values. We should always remember the spiritual foundation of Christmas. It is after saying our prayers for others and filling our hearts with blessings for good deeds towards others, that can we say Christmas is real and meaningful in our lives. My family and I thank the churches, the choirs and religious groups for spreading the Christmas spirit every year.  For many it is the time to engage with the community and feel peace within.

At Christmas time, we are all reminded of the importance of showing love, kindness and caring for others in society. We all need to reach out, to  devote some of our time to caring for others, whether it be visiting a lonely elderly couple in the community or helping a group of children practicing their carol-singing, or helping a family in need.  These are acts of kindness that bind us as a people, and remind us of the greatest blessing we have: a peaceful nation.

The year has been eventful, sometimes dramatic and sometimes joyful. We sent our brave men on risky missions out at sea to rescue our sons, brothers and fathers from the grasp of the pirates. We are happy our compatriots and their families have been spared the trauma of spending their Christmas in a far-away lawless land. At this joyous time, as we also look towards the future of our nation, we may regard the inauguration this year of our university as perhaps the best present to our children and the future generations.

Christmas is about putting differences aside, peace among mankind, forgiveness, bringing families and friends closer together. Every year we make the promise to ourselves to expand these feelings to all people around us.  We pray we will always be able to live these feelings every day. They are feelings that will make a difference in our nation as we seek the spiritual values to guide us in our daily lives.

Our prayers this Christmas are for the power to bring changes in our lifestyle, for the better, for the peace and happiness of our dear ones.

My special thoughts, and those of my family, at this time of year are always with the less fortunate members of our society -- the vulnerable, orphans, residents in children’s homes, the handicapped, the sick in hospital and at home, the elderly.

Our thoughts are also with all those who are working this Christmas in the essential and emergency services, in the tourism and hospitality industry and transportation services. We must also remember the officers of the Police and the Military who are on duty this Christmas.

We are grateful to the children around us, the choirs, churches, individuals and business community for making the special effort to promote goodwill every Christmas.

I wish the Seychellois nation, and all visitors to our shores, a Merry Christmas. We thank God for his blessings at this time of the year.

James A Michel
Republic of Seychelles

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