Fellow citizens of St. Maarten, as the Christmas holidays draw near, I am certain that many of you, like myself, may be in full preparations for the season. The Christmas season is a time that we all look forward to. But this year’s merriments may be somewhat dampened due to the COVID 19 global pandemic as we are confined to some restricted social policies and to many also economic hardship.
During this past year we have been through some trying times like we have never seen before, and we have not yet seen the end of it. We have had to adjust some of our normal ways of living and our customs of doing things. It is at times like these that we must take a moment to reflect on the past and yet count our blessings.
Yes, times are challenging for many of us, our families, our friends and our fellow citizens. Despite the challenges that we face, we must recognize and appreciate that we are resilient people and we still have much to be thankful for. Let us not focus on the things we don’t have, instead, let us be grateful for the things we do have.
Let us not burden ourselves with worries, frustrations and negative thoughts, but lighten up our hearts with a positive state of mind of cheerfulness, contentment and success. Take comfort in the facts that we have the morning sun rising on us, oxygen in the air that we breathe, friends to comfort us, and loved ones who care for us. Above all, we have God who hears and answers our prayers.
I call on every citizen to celebrate responsibly during the holidays. Do not drink and drive, the life you save may be your own. Eat and drink in moderation, your health is your responsibility. While congregating and socializing at home during the family lunch, or around the Christmas tree opening gifts, or at church praising the Lord, or at a festive activity releasing stress, please remember to adhere to the policies in place to counteract the spreading of the Corona Virus.
Our culture dictates that the Christmas season is a time when families and friends get together to celebrate and exchange gifts. Unfortunately, such gathering may be restricted and is not encouraged this Christmas season. But thankfully, technology provides the alternative for family members, here and abroad, to communicate and share that moment of togetherness with their loved ones.
The gift of kindness to mankind does not cost you anything so I ask of you to be kind to all and share your love plentiful without reservations. I encourage everyone who has enough, to share with those that have less or nothing now and in the future when needed. Love to mankind should not have any boundaries.
On behalf of my USP family and myself, I take this opportunity to extend best wishes for good health, joy and happiness to you and your family during this festive season. Be safe and may the good Lord be with you and spread His protective arms over you and your loved ones.
Claudius “Toontje” Buncamper
Member of Parliament and USP Faction Leader
Parliament of Sint Maarten.