President Obama Speaks at the “Christmas in Washington” Celebration

The President: Thank you. Thank you so much. Everybody
have a seat. Merry Christmas
everybody. The President: Give it
up for Santa’s biggest, baddest elf — our
host, The Rock. (applause) Dwayne is tough as
nails on the outside, but as you heard earlier, he
is a big softie on the inside. Even played me once on
“Saturday Night Live.” (laughter) You can see the
resemblance. (laughter) I have a little
more hair. I want to thank all the
incredible performers for dazzling us with
their talents tonight. Give them a big
round of applause. (applause) And we want to thank
all the people behind the scenes who help make this
wonderful event possible every single year. For 33 years, “Christmas
in Washington” has benefited a
remarkable institution — Children’s National
Medical Center. That’s where dedicated
medical professionals provide world-class care to our
most precious resource — our children — every
single day of the year. Of course, this holiday
is all about the birth of a child more than
2,000 years ago. A young soon-to-be mother and
her husband of modest means traveled to Bethlehem and
sought shelter for the night. They found it in a manger. And in the lowliest
of surroundings a Savior was born who
would change the world. Jesus Christ lived
a life of peace, of love, and kindness
and forgiveness. He administered to the
poor and to the sick, to the stranger and the
outcast on society’s margins. His life of service teaches
us that our individual salvation is wrapped up in
the salvation of others. And two millennia later, it
lifts the hearts of billions around the world, Christians
and non-Christians alike. In the hustle and bustle
of Christmas season, may we all do our best
to follow his example, to reach out to someone whose
Christmas isn’t so jolly; to turn our blessings into
kindness and compassion; to treat one another
the way we would like to be treated. That’s the real
Christmas spirit. To all our men and women
in uniform serving far from home, and to the
families who miss them, we thank you for your
service and sacrifice, and we’re thinking of
you this holiday season. And to every American,
from the Obama family to yours, Merry
Christmas. God bless you, and
God bless America. Thank you very much. (applause)

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