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A meaningful Christmas

By Hon. Arnhim Eustace, Leader of the Opposition

arnhim eustace1
Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace.

This year, I had intended to give in to the not-too-subtle urging of my wife and children to spend a family Christmas in New Jersey. I could think of nothing more enticing than the chance to behold for the first time my new granddaughter, Nneka, in her own environment; to stay proudly in the home of my son Ajene and daughter-in-law Ijeoma recently bought; to be regaled with stories by my six-year-old grandson, Ayinde; to check in on my sister Merle and her family; and to catch up with US-based friends on whom I have not laid eyes in years.

Plans were dashed when I considered the staggering cost of air travel and extended Christmas feasting abroad. If I made the trip, I would have less of my salary available to help meet the greater needs of the increasing number in East Kingstown and elsewhere in St. Vincent who have nothing.

I don’t need to point out that similar sacrifices are being made all across St. Vincent and the Grenadines – to make do with less for the self to serve the greater good. Parents are making cloth dolls rather than buying toys; business owners are skipping bonuses in order to pay salaries in the new year; families are planning simple meals because there may be no feast for Christmases to come.

I am fortunate that my son and his young family decided, in the circumstances, to move the festivities from New Jersey to Ratho Mill. They were all I really wanted for Christmas anyway. But my son too prioritized: his children’s sense of identity as West Indians was more important than buying a video game console or new wardrobe.

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With five loaves and two small fish, Jesus Christ fed a multitude. When we celebrate His birthday, let’s pay homage not merely to His nativity, but to the lessons He was sent to teach us in order that we might be saved.

Across the globe, from Bethlehem to Hairouna, let’s endeavour to be Christ-like. Let’s make personal sacrifices today so that all may have a better tomorrow.

I wish for St. Vincent and the Grenadines a blessed Christmas!

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