Editor's note: Trump's full Christmas-tree-lighting address is available exclusively at LifeSiteNews here.
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Christmas is not about “what we have” but rather “who we are,” and that is children of God, President Trump said at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree on Thursday.
“For Christians, this is a Holy season – the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Christmas story begins 2000 years ago with a mother, a father, their baby son, and the most extraordinary gift of all, the gift of God's love for all of humanity, ” he said.
“Whatever our beliefs, we know that the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of this incredible life forever changed the course of human history. There’s hardly an aspect of our lives today that his life has not touched: art, music, culture, law, and our respect for the sacred dignity of every person everywhere in the world,” he continued.
“Each and every year at Christmas time we recognize that the real spirit of Christmas is not what we have, it's about who we are – each one of us is a child of God,” he added.
Trump said that each and every person being a child of God is the “true source of joy this time of the year.”
“That is what makes every Christmas ‘merry,’” he said.
He said that the tree-lighting ceremony is a reminder that “we are called to serve one another, to love one another, and to pursue peace in our hearts and all throughout the world. “
The President thanked the country's “teachers, pastors, and all those religious and those people that have taught us so much, for their leadership in our communities and our society.”
“And especially tonight I thank America’s families,” he continued. “At Christmas, we are reminded more than ever that the family is the bedrock of American life.”
“And so this Christmas, we ask for God’s blessings for our family, for our nation, and we pray that our country will be a place where every child knows a home filled with love, a community rich with hope, and a nation blessed with faith,” said Trump.
The lighting of the National Christmas Tree is a tradition that began in 1923 during Calvin Coolidge’s presidency.
Trump tweeted portions of his speech earlier today.
The Christmas Story begins 2,000 years ago with a mother, a father, their baby son and the most extraordinary gift of all—the gift of God’s love for all of humanity.
Whatever our beliefs, we know that the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of his life… pic.twitter.com/P94C3LjWlx
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
He wished those gathered for the tree lighting “Merry Christmas” from him and his entire family. He said it was a “tremendous honor” to do so.
“God bless you and God bless the United States of America…Merry Christmas everybody. Merry Christmas. Happy new year,” he said at the end of his speech.
Trump hasn’t used politically correct euphemisms for the holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. He repeatedly promised on the campaign trail and after his election that “we’re gonna start saying Merry Christmas again.”
This year’s Christmas decorations at the Trump White House include a beautiful traditional nativity set with a baby Jesus, halls full of Christmas trees, and classic decorations. The decorations are a tribute to the “time-honored traditions” of White House Christmases past, according to the Office of the First Lady.