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Published 20th December 2018, 2:4pm

As we go through the year the days and weeks can sometimes seem to stretch on forever but by year’s end we often reflect that though the days and weeks may seem long, the years are indeed short. We are reminded of this every year as Christmas seems to come around sooner and sooner, especially as we get older. But no matter the speed with which it arrives, to me it is still a magical time; a time to spend with friends and family; a time when everyone seems happier; a time to give; and a time to celebrate not only the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, but each other and our accomplishments in 2018. I hope that today you take some time to reflect on your personal blessings as well as those of the Cayman Islands, give thanks and join together in celebration. We are indeed blessed. Christmas time gives me the chance to slow down and get out to visit more with people, both young and old, in my wanderings through our many communities and at the festivities of the season. These interactions certainly leave me feeling blessed and rejuvenate me for the work ahead in the coming New Year. I also cherish the time I get to celebrate this glorious season with my wife and two sons, my father, sisters and the rest of my family and friends. Like you, I too cherish this time because of the opportunity to reflect and enjoy the company of my loved ones. I pray that the feelings we have at Christmas of goodwill and charity will carry us into the New Year and continue as the year progresses. I will leave you with words from our beloved National Song, Beloved Isle Cayman: Away from noise of cities, Their fret and carking care, With moonbeams' soft caresses, Unchecked by garish glare, When sweet church bells are chiming, My fond heart yearns for thee… And when comes on the season Of peace, goodwill to man, 'Tis then I love thee best of all, Beloved Isle Cayman. I sincerely hope that each of you has a joyous Christmas. On behalf of my Government, my family and myself, I wish each of you a very blessed Christmas.