“In the excitement of everyday life, often focusing on the here and now, Christmas is a haven, a time for reflection on our life and our relationships with others, near and far.
Precisely at Christmas, yet the festival of lights, we are reminded of personal loss and grief. Who has lost a loved one feels in these days extra sharp pain.
To be in a larger context of family and friends, can give comfort and strength. Realize recorded Their support, often in silence, in the background cause for gratitude.
So too were Princess Margriet and Mr.. Pieter van Vollenhoven my mother for thirty-three years. My uncle and aunt have vigorously deployed alongside their own work in the service of its Kingship, in light and dark periods. They deserve a special word of thanks.
In the year that lies behind us, is a strong appeal to the resilience and persistence of large groups of Dutch. Many people worry about their jobs and their income. They feel dependent on social forces which they have no control.
Who loses job or business, can not find or can not work, no job gets lost more than just financial security. Our work is also part of who we are. It determines the image people have of themselves and their place in society and the world. Having work affects the social contacts and the feeling to be appreciated. The need for recognition and understanding connects us humans, not only at Christmas but all year round.
Essential in our lives, our relationships with others, primarily those near: members of the family, the family, friends and colleagues at work. “People are people through other people,” says an African proverb. From that experience, many with Christmas seek the company of those who are dear. But that option is not for everyone.
Hundreds of thousands of Dutch people are not home today to celebrate the party. They serve the public good, in hospitals and institutions, in public utilities, transport and transportation, police, or further away, at sea or in distant countries, working on peace and security. They all deserve our support.
Hundreds of thousands of Dutch spend Christmas alone. That may very well be a positive, own choice. ‘Only’ is not the same, after all, ‘lonely’. For many, the seclusion not voluntary. Either because they have no immediate relatives. Either because contacts are gone. They are thrown back on himself and often wait on an outstretched hand or a listening ear.
How people can live in isolation deep inside remains the hope of appreciation and contact alive. That hope never goes out.
Christmas is the celebration of the expectation of “peace on earth, good will toward men.”
The singing of those rules as an expression of personal faith, can give a sense of discomfort at the same time.
The world is so big.
The problems are so widespread.
Interests are so opposed. And, the suffering of people is often horrifying. Nature Violence strikes communities apart. We see images of people in makeshift camps, fleeing hunger and terror. We hear words of hatred that are passed from generation to generation making conciliatory noises seem well-intentioned no chance.
And yet, “Peace on Earth” more than an unattainable ideal. More than a star in the sky.
Peace on earth begins very close. Home. In the street. Nearby. At the club. In our own town or city.
Everyone can – on his or her own way – to contribute to peace by seeking connections. This sometimes requires a bit of courage and self-conquest. Sometimes resistance must be overcome. But overcoming resistance gives more satisfaction than spineless and aimless drift with the current.
In the past year, but in previous years, my wife and I had the privilege to meet someone who actually seek connection with others. Many people Carers and volunteers. Childminders who have their home open to children who are in a fix. Buddies who care for people with severe illness. Innovative entrepreneurs who feel a strong social responsibility and act accordingly. Residents who do not wait, but together to find solutions to improve their living environment. And also doctors, social workers, development workers and soldiers far from home, under the toughest conditions, concrete attempt to alleviate the suffering of others slightly.
They all look the connection from their personal belief that a better future is possible.
Therein lies the inspiration for many of the Christmas story, which is told from generation to generation. With the Child in the manger revives the hope of a new beginning. The news of Christmas is a message of hope and light in the darkest days: life does matter and we do together committed. Regardless of religion or belief, people feel attracted by that message.
By going connections to people can develop a force that can move mountains together. Something that joint force felt on April 30 of this year. For many, and for me, it was a memorable experience. In that spirit, we can look forward with confidence to the year ahead. There is to do. Much and nice work.
I wish you all – wherever you are and how your personal circumstances – a blessed Christmas.”
Along with my family, I want to wish you all a Happy Christmas.
Someone has aptly said that Christmas is not just a time of year, but also a feeling. It is easy to recognize themselves in that description. For it is with words, relaxation, fellowship and togetherness that Christmas is captured best. My wish is that everyone gets the opportunity to experience this Christmas. I want to extend a particularly warm greeting to all those who do not have anyone to share Christmas with. I hope that the feelings associated with Christmas also reach you.
For the fortieth time, I am now my Christmas speech as King of Sweden. And, this year I want to extend my sincere thanks to everyone around the whole of Sweden, who has done just that for a year I will remember for a long time. It’s been forty years ago I became Sweden’s king and head of state in various contexts come to be recognized. For all the commitment demonstrated I want to express my great appreciation. And, I especially want to thank you for all the fruitful meetings I have had experience with people in our country. This especially during the various trips the Queen and I have done to all Swedish county during the year. We have visited from Älvsbyn and Luleå in Norrbotten Hässleholmsvägen and Lund in southern Sweden. We have taken note of both forward-looking research and glowing entrepreneurship – but also many different associations that make significant contributions to preserve bygders history.
There has been so much impressed by, and so many impressions. However, the most memorable has been all the people who turned up for the trips. We have encountered such warmth, compassion and spirit. These meetings have made it easy to understand why the rest of the world looks so often turned against our Sweden. This country high in the north, as so often arouses great interest. Many times we see this interest manifest itself in Sweden is in demand worldwide. This applies to our products and our services, but it also applies to our country as such.
This year I had the opportunity and privilege to represent Sweden at extra opportunities. Along with the Queen, I traveled in April to Croatia for a state visit. In addition, we participated in various activities that reflected both the business, research and culture of several countries. During a trip to the U.S. in May, we visited Delaware, to commemorate the 375 years since the first Swedes arrived in America. During the year we also had foreign visit to Sweden. Among other things, we have been able to welcome Turkey and Portugal presidents on state visits. Visits of this kind always gives us the opportunity to showcase Sweden. And the interest in what we have to show is always great. For the President of Portugal, it was obvious that his visit would also include a visit to Lund. There he was part of Ideon, Scandinavia and perhaps one of Europe’s most successful meeting places for entrepreneurs. He also got to see the sites of construction of the MAX IV Laboratory and research facility ESS. Two unique future investments in advanced materials research that is of importance not only for Sweden but also for our world. Last fall, took the Queen and I also accept U.S. President Barack Obama at the Presidential Palace. The president also made a visit to the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. This is to learn about how we in Sweden are working with renewable energy and all adjacent to this area. There counted our country into one of the best in the world. We are at the forefront of efforts to find sustainable solutions to issues related to energy, environment and climate. These are just a few of many examples of how Sweden shows the front feet. Another consists of Chalmers University in Gothenburg. There, one of this year the EU’s confidence to lead a major research project on the super material graphene, which could revolutionize the electronics of tomorrow. Right from the start include Chalmers graph center 126 academic and industrial research groups across 17 European countries. In its scientific council are four Nobel laureates. And those investments now being made involving thousands of researchers in over ten years.
Similarly, it would be possible to describe a variety of areas ranging from medicine, engineering and technology. Sweden is a country that continues to live up to its name as the home for research and innovation. It is something I am very proud of and that means a lot to the image of Sweden in the world. I think it is important that we build our country with the understanding of knowledge and inventions importance. In this way we reinforce not only the positive view that Sweden today is associated with, but we can together strengthen and further develop our nation.
But, if this is a part, in the image of Sweden, it is still the people I think matter most to the positive image of Sweden in the world. A country that is open, warm, and looking forward. And, it is also this country I have been privileged to meet this year. During the journeys through Sweden all provinces. During meetings through handshakes, smiles and warm words. During a Sweden Dinner at the castle. During an afternoon dance at the anniversary date of the inner courtyard here at the Palace. In these and many other moments I have been filled with joy and pride, but also with confidence in the future. We may be a fairly small country on the planet, but time and again we show that we are able to create something great together. This is through a combination of values of hard work, thoughtfulness and curiosity. I have seen that during the forty years that I have had the opportunity and privilege to represent Sweden. I would therefore like to say a big thank you to everyone who seems our country. From north to south. From our bustling cities to our magnificent countryside. In industries and service, culture and club. In schools, nursing homes and hospitals. From young to old. It is all of you, together with your fellows, makes Sweden so amazing and special. Through your efforts, you are helping to build our country. With all that you daily produces makes you Sweden for what it is. Therefore, it is a privilege for me to represent Sweden. So it has been during the forty years that I have been King. And, all the meetings, all the things I had seen and all that I have experienced during the year has strengthened me in this sense. I feel great pride in Sweden and we have to show up. It is with energy and great pleasure that I look forward to the future.
Now we shall soon see a new year. I hope together we can make 2014 a good year – for Sweden and for all of us who live here. Next year, we also celebrate something that is almost unique if we look at the world and its history. Sweden has since had the privilege to experience the peace for 200 years. We have reason to celebrate, but we should also spare a thought for all those who can not live with this, perhaps the greatest of human benefits. Along with freedom, peace is one of the largest population may experience. Let us hope that our story of peace and freedom can become something we can share with the world in the future.
With these words, I conclude my fortieth Christmas speech, and I ask once again to wish you all a very happy new Christmas. And I want to, along with my family to wish you all a Happy New Year 2014!”