President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump took part in the 95th annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree on Thursday night, with Trump delivering a surprising speech that got to the very heart of the real meaning of the season.
The president spoke of the “miracle of Christmas” and explained, in detail, why the holiday is so important for Christians.
“For Christians this is a holy season, the celebration of the birth of our lord and savior Jesus Christ,” Trump said, before diving into the nativity story. “The Christmas story begins 2,000 years ago with a mother, a father, their baby son and the most extraordinary gift of all: the gift of god’s love for all of humanity.”
Regardless of what people believe, the president said it is undeniable that Jesus has had a profound impact on society and culture, as he detailed and heralded the various arenas that Christ has influenced over two millennia.
“Whatever our beliefs we know that the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of this incredible life forever changed the course of human history,” Trump continued. “There’s hardly an aspect of our lives today that His life has not touched – art, music, culture, law and our respect for the sacred dignity of every person, everywhere in the world.”
Watch Trump’s remarks below:
The president went on to say that the “real spirit of Christmas” isn’t about material possessions, but that it is, instead, based on the fact that every human being “is a child of God.”
He specifically thanked a range of people in the address, including police officers, law enforcement, teachers, pastors and those who are helping the poor this holiday season — and he had a particularly pointed message about the importance of the family.
“At Christmas we are reminded, more than ever, that the family is the bedrock of American life,” he said.
Last year, President Barack Obama spoke of “the birth of our Savior” during his own National Christmas Tree address, referencing the traditional nativity story as well as the lessons Jesus brought to humanity.
“As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, as we retell the story of weary travelers, a star, shepherds, Magi, I hope that we also focus ourselves on the message that this child brought to this Earth some 2,000 years ago — a message that says we have to be our brother’s keepers, our sister’s keepers; that we have to reach out to each other, to forgive each other,” Obama said.
He continued, “To let the light of our good deeds shine for all. To care for the sick, and the hungry, and the downtrodden. And of course, to love one another, even our enemies, and treat one another the way we would want to be treated ourselves.”