President Obama summarized the story of Jesus Christ’s birth as he encouraged listeners to love and serve. “No matter who we are, where we come from or how we worship, it’s a message that can unite all of us,” Obama said.
“So long as the gifts and the parties are happening, it’s
important for us to keep in mind the central message of this
season, and keep Christ’s words not only in our thoughts, but
also in our deeds. In this season of hope, let’s help those who
need it most –- the homeless, the hungry, the sick and shut in.
In this season of plenty, let’s reach out to those who struggle
to find work or provide for their families. In this season of
generosity, let’s give thanks and honor to our troops and our
veterans, and their families who’ve sacrificed so much for us.
And let’s welcome all those who are happily coming home.”
The 26-foot Colorado blue spruce was planted in March on the Ellipse, a park that lies between the White House and the National Mall. Strong winds in February toppled the previous tree, which stood in the park since 1978.