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HomeEducation / CultureBethlehem cancels Christmas, St Lucia should do the same 

Bethlehem cancels Christmas, St Lucia should do the same 

Dear Sir

The birthplace of Jesus Christ, Bethlehem, and churches in the Holy Land of Christianity are set to tone down the festivities, while others cancel Christmas this year.

The ongoing war between Israel and Hamas is the principal cause, and the response to Hamas’s October 7 terror attack shows no sign of ending.

In the Holy Land of Christianity, Christmas mass and prayers will be held. Christmas trees and lights will be limited. Tourism is down to a trickle in Bethlehem. There is no joy in the city, no toys and gifts to share, and no spreading of the Christmas spirit.

The Holy City renowned for peace has seen frequent clashes between soldiers and citizens. And sporadic protests in small traditions.

‘We cannot celebrate when our brothers and sisters are dying,’ Issa Thaljieh, a Greek-Orthodox priest of the Church of the Nativity, the 4th-century place of worship whose crypt holds Christ’s supposed birthplace, told the Times.

St Lucia should cancel Christmas

The feast of the patron Saint Lucy, December 13, is the National Day of Saint Lucia and the start of the Christmas celebrations. Virgin and Martyr – Pray for us! Saint Lucia needs all of your virtues.

Prayer from the darkness that roams the land. Prayer for deliverance from evil men, women and proxies who lead the land. And if Saint Lucia is still a virgin land, we pray she remains that way and does not become a fork in the road ahead.

“As we usher in this new period of light and renewal, I pray for a spirit of peace and love over our island. As we reflect on our lives during this National Day, let us give thanks and commit to being better citizens who proudly build our nation. Happy National Day to all Saint Lucians,” Prime Minister Philip J Pierre, Facebook page expressed. #PhilipCares

In response to concerns last month, that members of parliament behaviour in the House of Assembly set a bad example for others, Prime Minister Pierre declared that parliament is not a church.

“There are some purists who pretend that the parliament ought to be a church. The parliament is not a church. You know where I stand on that,” Pierre reminded reporters.

The prime minister apparently separates, “I pray for a spirit of peace and love over our island,” from the parliament where bitterness, fear and anger prevail over statesmanship, manners, policy debate and legislative shrewdness to make Saint Lucia better.

The United Workers Party (UWP) leader, on National Day, chose to “remember the ties that bind us together and the shared values that make our communities strong, “Today [December 13, 2023] is a celebration of our rich culture, vibrant heritage, and the resilient spirit that defines us as Saint Lucians.”

There is never a dull moment reading the comments, under certain articles. Fire and Brimstone December 13, 2023, At 7:04 pm commented:

“Talk right anonymous, [referring to the previous blogger] both these parties are designed to divide and distract our people with illusions of so-called democracy, this is the hypocrisy. The blind leading the blind. Deceiving while being deceived.”

In the spirit of Saint Lucia, there are plenty of reasons to cancel Christmas. Christ is no longer in Christmas. The politics of red and yellow have permanently divided political followers, even the Christians. And yes, there is politics in religion! Nonetheless, most prefer to keep quiet and not stand up for Christ the King – right from wrong. It is apparently more important to keep the offerings and government concessions intact.

The spirit of Saint Lucia, which is usually in free flow at every street corner is absent this Christmas. Imported food, alcoholic spirits, pork, meat fish, and ground provision are expensive and not within the budget of the “poorest of the poor”. Many will need a long hand to reach into their pocket, and a helping hand to uncover hidden treasures.

This Christmas is stressful. This Christmas is hard. I can’t buy anything for Christmas, as the song says …

There are complaints of limited Christmas trees, lights and decorations. Businesses and residences are not enthusiastic to go the extra mile. And with reason!

January is not assured that the electricity bills, cooking gas and gasoline will not be increased and beyond the pockets of many. And 2.5 percent is a sure pocket buster, no one can escape. As more households and businesses find themselves in financial difficulty.

Then again, if you live where real people live in the north of the island, affordability and 2.5 percent – is no big deal.

While the street side vendors, small shops and malls are recording low traffic, Lucian’s never let go of an opportunity to fete. But, this Christmas, the omission is real with the birthplace of Christ the King not celebrating – then what are Saint Lucians celebrating?

Thinking of this, I ask myself, are Saint Lucians celebrating 2.5 percent, health and security levy and the deteriorating healthcare system?

Are Saint Lucians celebrating another homicide record, locked up in burglar-proofed homes with more big guns and security uncertainty?

Is it worth celebrating amid the worst roads on the island? And what about, the poor performance of the island tourism sector, agriculture and trade?

I cannot overlook the circus parliament and the performance of the new clown show in town.

In light of the circus, the government is very concerned about the politics of selfness, the loyalty of belonging, head-in-the-sand syndrome, the blame game, vouchers and handouts.

And before I lose alleyway on the lazy roller potholes, there may be something to be happy about in the barrel concessions and tax returns. The “economy is in good hands” and a forecast of 5.2 percent GDP for 2024.

I may be limited in my vision, as a result of the red and yellow de-vision and how the island and the government have transformed from recent memory.

Naughty or nice, if I missed out, bear with me. The result of being without dinero to spare except for the promise of – STEP – cutting grass behind the grass – the YOUTH economy – contracts to reward top boys and girls – and placements on cardboard statutory boards, that have silenced many loud mouths and potheads with empty pockets.

The combined medicine of political Kool-Aid and Mumo tablets seems a mental happenstance to free speech, alternative thinking and expression of ideas in a democracy that’s sleepwalking to dictatorship. In Hong Kong police have again targeted individuals for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

To cancel this year’s Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, in recognition of the suffering of the people, coincides with the “poorest of the poor” in Saint Lucia, the disfranchised and underprivileged, heartbroken, with no one to stand with them.

This year’s Christmas leaves many out of “the Christmas spirit, that doing me that.”

It’s a Christmas to remember. Not celebrated!

Sincerely,

Santa Claus

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