Barack Obama photo

Remarks at "Christmas in Washington"

December 12, 2010

Thank you, everybody. Please, please have a seat. Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everybody. I want to thank our wonderful host, Ellen DeGeneres, for being here tonight. And of course, a special thanks to all of tonight's extraordinary performers: Mariah Carey, Andrea Bocelli, Miranda Cosgrove, Annie Lennox, Maxwell, Matthew Morrison, the Washington Youth Choir, the American Family Choir, and the United States Army Band Herald Trumpets. Please give them a huge round of applause.

What a wonderful show here at the National Building Museum. And we're grateful that the Children's National Medical Center is the beneficiary of tonight's performance. Day in and day out, the folks there are saving lives and bringing healing and comfort to our children.

This season reminds us that more than 2,000 years ago, a child born in a stable brought our world a redeeming gift of peace and salvation. It's a story with a message that speaks to us to this day--that we are called to love each other as we love ourselves, that we are our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper and our destinies are linked.

It's a message that guides my Christian faith, and it focuses us as we think about all those whose holidays may be a bit tougher this year. We pray for our troops serving far away from the warmth of family and homespun traditions. We remember those who are out of work or struggling just to get by. We hold in our hearts all those who've fallen on hard times this holiday season.

Because, while Christmas is a time to celebrate, a time to sing chorals and exchange gifts, it's also something more. It's a time to rediscover the meaning of words like "charity" and "compassion" and "good will," to do our part for our neighbors, to serve God through serving others. So from our family to yours, happy holidays, everybody. Merry Christmas, and God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 6 p.m. at the National Building Museum. In his remarks, he referred to comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on December 13.

Barack Obama, Remarks at "Christmas in Washington" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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