Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks at a Christmas Party for the White House Staff

December 15, 1975

Mr. Vice President, members of the White House family:

Christmas has a very special meaning for all of us regardless of our religious beliefs, because it is a holiday built around the concept of the family. What began with Joseph and Mary and the infant Jesus in the manger in Bethlehem--the sentiments of togetherness and love--has spread over the centuries to millions and millions of homes. And as a result, regardless of where it is around the world, I think it has become an almost universal blessing.

Betty and I, along with Susan and the rest of the family, are very delighted to have all of you in this wonderful home and to participate in the first showing of the wonderful decorations that have been put together and made available for as many as can come and see what we have here in the White House. Betty says for an old-fashioned Christmas. [Laughter]

But let me say, in addition to seeing the wonderful decorations and, I hope, getting the warmth of the feeling that exists here, we do want to express to all of you our deepest appreciation and broadest gratitude for all that you have done over the last 16 or 17 months to try and make our Government work from the White House as effectively as possible.

We can't express deeply enough or vigorously enough our gratitude and indebtedness to you. Naturally, we know the long hours you have put in have interfered with your own family and, I suspect, some of your Christmas shopping. But if you will excuse the hours even on these days at this time of the year, we want to say strongly, forcefully, and with the deepest gratitude, our best wishes for a very, very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years.

Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 5:58 p.m. in the East Room at the White House.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks at a Christmas Party for the White House Staff Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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