Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on the nation to reflect on the values of sharing and giving back to the less fortunate.
The former prime minister made the call in her Christmas message below:
"Today, as we celebrate another Christmas with loved ones, it is a good time to reflect on the true meaning of this remarkable event that brings out the best in humanity. The universal message of peace, goodwill and togetherness was handed down from the first Christmas and remains with us.
More than two thousand years ago, a baby who was destined to bring peace and hope for all humankind, came into our world. But for baby Jesus and his parents there was no room at the Inns in Bethlehem so the Son of God took birth in a manger.
The powerful story of their homelessness provides an opportunity for us to consider the humility of this great soul and guide us to treat the less fortunate and vulnerable in our communities with the same compassion and love as Jesus did.
It reminds us as well of the true nature of the human spirit, which inspires families and communities to come together, share what they have, and give back to those less fortunate.
Christmas provides an inspiration for reconciliation and forgiveness. It inspires us to extend our hands in love, acceptance and healing. In this spirit we must respect and value all people regardless of their faith, ethnicity or socio-economic standing.
Our goal must be one of service so we can feed the hungry, clothe the naked, embrace the unwanted, care for the ill and provide shelter for those in need. If we resolve to do something special for someone every day we will keep the message of Christmas alive forever, instead of just for one short season once a year.
Today our country is going through a most difficult period, partly due to our government’s lack of preparedness to deal with the difficulties caused primarily by the fall in oil and gas prices and also its lack of compassion for families and the less fortunate in our society.
But now is not the time to dwell on political matters. Instead let us count our many blessings, and show our loved ones how much they mean to us. And let us take it one step further to our wider society.
Our diversity is our greatest treasure so let us unite as one family and build a brighter, more prosperous future together on the basis of mutual respect.
On my own behalf and on behalf of my family and my extended United National Congress family I wish you a most joyous Christmas and God’s blessings for a happy and healthy 2016 and beyond."