Good morning. As families across the nation gather to celebrate Christmas, Laura
and I want to extend our best wishes for the holidays. We hope that this Christmas
will be a time of happiness in your home, and a time of peace in the world.
In this season, we celebrate with our families and deeply miss love ones who
are no longer with us. Thousands of families in our nation are still grieving
over the terrible losses that came to them last year on September the 11th.
We have not forgotten their loss and we continue to pray for their comfort.
The Christmas season brings a deeper concern for fellow citizens in need. Our
country is prosperous, yet we must also remember there are pockets of despair
in America. Some men and women are facing the struggles of illness and old age
with no one to help them or pray with them. Other Americans fight against terrible
addictions. Some young men have no family but a gang. Some teenage moms are
abandoned and alone. And some children wonder if anybody loves them.
We all share a responsibility to help, both through our government and through
individual acts of compassion. In this season of giving, I hope all Americans
will look for opportunities to donate and volunteer where the need is greatest.
By reaching out to a neighbor in need, we make our country a more just and generous
Our entire nation is also thinking at this time of year of the men and women
in the military, many of whom will spend Christmas at posts and bases far from
home. They stand between Americans and grave danger. They serve in the cause
of peace and freedom. They wear the uniform proudly, and we are so proud of
I have met with these idealistic young men and women across America and around
the world. I know the sacrifices they make. And in every place they serve, they
can know that they have the love of their families and the gratitude of their
At this time of year, we appreciate all the blessings that fill our lives, especially
the great blessing that came on a holy night in Bethlehem. The Christmas story
speaks to every generation. It is the story of a quiet birth in a little town
on the margins of an indifferent empire. Yet that single event set the direction
of history and still changes millions of lives.
For over two millennia, Christmas has carried the message that God is with us,
and because he is with us we can always live in hope. The world we live in is
very different from the world of ancient Bethlehem. Our need for that hope is
still unchanged. In all the challenges and dangers of our day, we still seek
the promise of peace on Earth.