Editorial: A merry Christmas to all

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It is with a heart brimful of love that we here at OBSERVER media wish all Antiguans and Barbudans a most delightful Christmas and a healthy, prosperous and happy New Year. May God’s choicest blessings ever descend on the flocks, fields and flowers of this fair land of ours! Of course, for our brothers and sisters from Barbuda, this Christmas will be a rather painful and unsettled one. Oh, how we wish that that were not so! Oh, how we wish that Barbudans could be back in their homes! And not spending Christmas in unfamiliar surroundings, and in situations that are less than optimal. We certainly hope that, sooner rather than later, our Barbudan kin will be back in their homes on their bit of paradise.
In the interim, we are grateful to organisations like Samaritan’s Purse and Bonnie Floyd Ministries for their unstinting efforts in trying to return Barbuda to some semblance of normalcy, and making this Christmas as bright as possible for the boys and girls of Barbuda. In case our readers do not remember, Bonnie Floyd and the good folk of Bonnie Floyd Ministries hosted a Christmas party for 315 Barbudan children last week. At that party, each child was given at least five toys in addition to books and other goodies. And Samaritan’s Purse has been doing yeoman’s recovery work since the very early days following Irma.
         And there are others quietly working behind the scenes to make this Christmas special, not only for Barbudans, but for the less fortunate and the dispossessed among us. To all those persons delivering random acts of love and caring; to all those who are doing God’s work in this blessed vineyard; to all those who are living up to the promise of Christ’s birth – that there be peace on earth and goodwill toward men, we offer our thanks and appreciation and a heartfelt salute.
This past year was, by any measure, a particularly tough year for Antigua and Barbuda, and while we are grateful for the fact that God saw fit to spare us, we still grieve with our brethren over the devastation visited upon our sister isle by an angry Mother Nature.
Of course, we are taking the lessons as taught by Mother Nature to heart – rebuild a more climate-change-resilient Barbuda, toughen our homes and infrastructure here in Antigua so that when Mother Nature chooses to unleash her fury, we will not suffer the sort of Biblical-like-proportions devastation that we saw in Barbuda, Dominica and the other hurricane-hit islands. Making sure that our homes and valuables are also insured, and that the monthly insurance payments are up-to-date is also a wise and prudent thing to do. And yes, we will be better stewards of the environment.
Clearly, in the days and months ahead, we will be challenged like never before, but if we all pull together, we are more than equal to every challenge. Adversity usually brings out the very best in a people, and we dare say that Hurricanes Maria and Irma will bring to the fore all that is noble and good and gracious in all Antiguans and Barbudans.  Notwithstand-ing the extenuating circumstances, our future here in Wadadli and Wa’omoni remains bright.
And on that confident note, we conclude with the words of Clement Clarke Moore’s, Twas The Night Before Christmas aka A Visit From St. Nick, first published on December 23, 1823 in the Troy Sentinel newspaper in upstate New York: “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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