"This is also a time to remember people who will not be spending the festive season at home. Right now, our brave armed forces are doing their duty, around the clock -- in the skies, on the seas, and on the ground, helping to keep peace and responding to natural calamities," Parrikar said in a statement issued here on Thursday.
He said the birth of Christ "represents peace, mercy, goodwill and above all, hope".
Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, in her Christmas message, said the message of tolerance given by Jesus Christ would help bolster the spirit of unity, which is "being often thwarted by some people".
"I think, an appreciation, understanding and practice of the valuable message given by Lord Jesus Christ of tolerance and understanding will help us eliminate the troubles and miseries created by intolerance and mistrust, and thus bring peace, happiness and solace to mankind," she said.
"Today, we find that the unity on the basis of the spirit that is common to all is being often thwarted by some people. Especially in a country like ours, wherein thrive all the religions of the world, we need to protect and conserve the unity of people on the basis of common spiritual and moral values instead of being too cloistered," Sinha said.