Barack Obama photo

Remarks at "Christmas in Washington"

December 15, 2013

Thank you. Well, merry Christmas, everybody! I want to thank our host, Hugh Jackman, for keeping our safety in mind and leaving Wolverine's claws at home. [Laughter] It can't be easy to wrap presents with those things. [Laughter] Good for carving up "roast beast" though. [Laughter]

I want to thank all the incredible performers for sharing their talents and their holiday spirit with us tonight. And we appreciate the whole team at Time Warner and the National Building Museum who make it possible for our fellow Americans to enjoy these evenings' performances.

Every year, we mark the holiday season with celebrations and good cheer. And I should remind my girls that I like getting Christmas presents as much as anybody. [Laughter] But this is also a time to remember the story of a child born to two faithful travelers on a holy night, long ago.

The sacred birth of Jesus Christ was God's gift to man on Earth. And through His example, He taught us that we should love the Lord, love our neighbors as we love ourselves. It's a teaching that has endured for generations. And today, it lies at the heart of my faith and that of millions of Americans and billions around the globe.

No matter who we are or where we come from or how we worship, it's a message of hope and devotion that can unite all of us this holiday season. It compels all of us to reach out and help our less fortunate citizens—our poor, our sick, our neighbors in need—and to serve those who sacrifice so much on our behalf.

And that's why tonight's celebration benefits the Children's National Medical Center and all the children whose lives they touch and save, including all the little elves who are here tonight. [Laughter]

And that's why, with our men and women in uniform serving far from home in harm's way, we thank them as well and their families. And we wish, this holiday season and all seasons, for peace on Earth.

To all Americans, from our family to yours, God bless you, and have a very merry Christmas.

NOTE: The President spoke at 7:40 p.m. at the National Building Museum. In his remarks, he referred to actor Hugh Jackman.

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

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