There’s need for us all to realize that this Christmas we have to make sacrifices. It will not be possible to celebrate Christmas and end or begin the year in the way we are accustomed to.
The many activities that are usually associated with the festive season must make way for the things that really matter — family and friends, caring for one another, physical and spiritual rejuvenation.
It’s hard to think of a Christmas season when all of us across width and breadth of our country have needed the break more acutely.
The truth is that 2020 has been a hard year for our country. With our economy in shambles and our politics in gridlock, and public discourse too often descending into rancour and abuse, it’s felt like we’ve been living permanently under a dark cloud.
All of us across Zambia have too often focused on the differences between us, rather than on what ties us together. So I hope the magic of Christmas casts its spell for people this year, helping families and friends remember what it is that unites them, not divides them.
I hope it reminds us that, despite the sound and fury of our national debate, the bonds of family, community and country are still deep and lasting.
Yes, it’s a cliché that Christmas is the season of goodwill. But its important for all of us that we demonstrate that goodwill to each other this year and that, for a week or so, hopefully the acrimony can fall silent.
It’s also a time to thank our doctors, clinical officers, nurses and other medical workers who will be working over the Christmas holiday. I hope they get a break with their families in due course.
It’s also right to mention those people who will this year be supporting those who are ill and need help during the Christmas season, our religious leaders for whom this is such a busy time, and all those who are looking out for a neighbor or a friend who needs support at this time of year.
And I also want to ask people to think about their neighbors. Loneliness can be a terrible thing at Christmas. So we should look out for each other. Christmas is also a time to wish peace on earth, in our country.
So I wish you all a merry Christmas, and let’s make sure we have peace on earth, in our country.
Silayi Village, Kalabo