A merry Christmas to you

TODAY is a very special day for Christians around the world.

Today is when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

They will remember, and rejoice with the story of the little baby who was born in a manger in Bethlehem. It is a story that has been retold many times.

It is as familiar to every Christian as it is special.

As in all our special holidays, today means different things for different people.

For some, it means change.

For some, it means acceptance of a new beginning.

The story of this special birth has been retold over time.

It is about the virgin Mary, Joseph and how Christ was born.

As the year comes to an end, our problems fade away, at least in importance, only to resurface after the new year.

Christmas is a religious occasion and a very special day for believers who will partake in sharing with loved ones. It is a day that acknowledges the spirit of  goodwill. It is an opportunity to indulge in good food and drinks.

For some, it is about partying with friends and loved ones.

For Christians, it is about celebrating a very special occasion with family and friends.

It has become a tradition that Christmas includes greeting cards, gifts and good wishes.

Many will go to church or to mass today.

Today is also one of the few days that shops in many countries of the world will remain closed.

Aside from the traditional feast most people reserve for this special day, thousands in Fiji will head towards our many beaches for a picnic with the family and friends.

As we do that, let us spare a thought for all those people who will be at work. Let us also remember the thousands of people who are not as fortunate, and will not be celebrating this special day for various reasons.

Some have no home to go to and a bleak future to look forward to.

We hope you will find some comfort and reassurance. We hope for good tidings for you and your family.

Today is also about selfless giving.

After all it is the season of giving.

Let us remember those who will need to be at work to ensure our country continues to move forward.

We remember members of the security forces, bus drivers, cabbies, those in our various supermarkets who will be at work today and tomorrow, the bus drivers and health workers to name a few.

As you enjoy Christmas Day, we hope you will spare a thought for the less fortunate. We hope you will exercise caution and be vigilant on our roads.

On behalf of The Fiji Times, I wish you all a safe and merry Christmas.