SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Hon. Silveria Jacobs issued her Christmas Holiday Message to the nation on Sunday. The message reads as follows:
“My fellow St. Maarteners and visitors to our beautiful shores;
“I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays! To those of you home for the holidays, Welcome Home! And to those St. Maarteners who are spending Christmas away from home, a Happy Holiday to you and your family as well.
“To our students, especially those studying abroad, many of you will spend this season miles apart from each other, as you forgo the comforts of home to further your dreams. I salute you for your commitment, know that you are in our prayers and we wish you a joyous Christmas wherever you may be this Christmas season.
“Mama Make yuh Johnnycake Christmas Coming; an epic song that defines what Christmas means to every St. Maartener; friendship, family time, and of course, lots and lots of food. The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. An overwhelming warmth that comes over St. Maarten is indescribable; a warmth that is the gift of sharing that keeps on giving, indeed.
“In fact, at this time of the year, families and friends, all over the world give gifts to each other; a gesture that defines Christmas itself. Christmas is really about the big present that God gave to the world. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; Isiah Chapter 9: Verse 6. This is the reason we celebrate, and an excellent reason it is to celebrate.
“The greatest gift I could have received this Christmas was to have the opportunity to serve you the people of Sint Maarten in my capacity as Prime Minister. A moment in my life that I am both humbled and honored by. It is also a time for us to come together with our loved ones, our families, and friends. It is a time to cherish, but also a time to reflect.
“Let us remember how fortunate we are to live in this paradise despite the adversity we have faced. Despite those difficulties, St. Maarten has remained a resilient nation, and when we need each other the most, we have risen to the occasion to demonstrate that together as one people, we are at our very best!
“This holiday season 2019 reminds us of how far we have come since Hurricane Irma, but also that there is so much more work to be done.
“We know that there are still many families without roofs or sufficient income as a result of the devastation of 2017, and our prayers go out to each and every one of you.
“In this season of giving and hope, I ask that those of us who are more fortunate, reach out to those who are the most vulnerable in our society, and in the spirit of giving, let us share what we have and give what we can. That is the true St. Maarten way. I also implore you to continue in this vein, not only during the Christmas season but throughout the New Year and for as long as we can.
“We are, as a nation, as strong as our weakest link. When one hurts, we all hurt.
“Let us take this time as a nation, as St. Maarten, to reflect on what is truly important to us as a people and appreciate the blessings given to us by God almighty. Let us take this time to show our gratitude for what we do have; 'this beautiful nation we call home.' Give thanks and show gratitude each and every day to the most high for love, for family, health, for blessings as well as the lessons from which we can grow.
“On behalf of the Council of Ministers, I wish you all a safe & Merry Christmas and may God continue to bless St. Maarten and her people, here at home and around the world.”