It's that time of year again. Our minds can't help being drawn to all the joys of Christmas in the Nature Isle, many of which can't be found anywhere else in the world.

But what does Christmas in Dominica really mean to you? Is it mainly a religious celebration, a time for merrymaking, a little bit of both? Is the answer in the eye of the beholder?

Whether you are inclined to focus on the religious part, or the merrymaking, or you do a little bit of both, there's no denying that Christmas here is unique, special and tends to showcase the best of Dominican culture and its people.

For many of us, Christmas is about "Merry Christmas" greetings, parties, concerts, gifts, lights, cards, sumptuous dinners, treats, drinks galore, and enjoyment with family and friends of the finest things we can afford.

Yet it is quite evident that we, as a people, do not forget those for whom Christmas is a time of sorrow. We always have enough Christmas cheer to share with those who are disadvantaged, poor, ill or who have lost loved ones.

One of the greatest joys of Christmas is that it is clearly a time when we remember how and why God showed His great love for us, and we are moved to share this love with others, especially those who are worst off.

That's why the Sun's Christmas Special this year highlights some uniquely Dominican traditions that evoke the bonding of our communities and the celebration of the ties that bind the nation's people together.

That's why the Christmas Special also focuses on the selfless sharing with the less fortunate, by hardworking individuals and groups whose work exemplifies the nation's God-inspired compulsion to help the least among us.

Perhaps the true meaning of Christmas is not reflected in the glaring acts of those who bring shame, no matter how plentiful they are. Maybe its true meaning is found in the ways of those who make us proud, few though they might be.

Maybe the true meaning of Christmas in Dominica derives from the people's belief that the birth of Jesus Christ represents love, peace and goodwill to all men, which is the core ethos of all genuine Christians and Christian nations.

Perhaps it is to our nation's credit that we can still safely say most Dominicans do not celebrate Christmas as a merely secular holiday. Most of us are well aware that Jesus Christ actually lived and died for our sins.

In these rapidly changing times, our simple yet profound awareness of this fact makes all the difference in the world. That's why there's no movement here to replace the greeting "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays."

We know all about the secularization of Christmas. We know that a lot of the seasonal excitement is about parties, food, rum, Santa, gifts, bacchanalian revelry or worse, underscoring the importance of keeping Christ in Christmas.

God bless you all, and to all Merry Christmas!