The President and First Lady Focus on Community this Christmas
President Obama and the First Lady wish Americans a Merry Christmas and remind them to participate in their community, whether it’s thinking of the less fortunate this season, or encouraging everyone to support our troops and their families. This year’s theme for the White House Christmas was “simple gifts”.
The President reminds Americans that we are celebrating the power of peace, love and redemption and that most importantly, we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. Redemption might be an appropriate theme for historians as they record these first two years of President Obama’s leadership, and it’s worth a moment of gratitude this Christmas Day. We aren’t where we want to be yet, but we’ve made tremendous strides toward restoring America to a nation that cares for its disadvantaged, is more of a cooperative force on the national stage than the cowboy bully we were just a few years ago, and returning to a nation that shows her pride by investing back into herself with infrastructure, further enabling education for all not just the rich, healthcare reform, and the repeal of DADT — to name just a few paradigm shifting changes.
This President has his eye on America as a community of well intentioned citizens, who while they may not agree all of the time, do believe in the importance of Government as a force for good and can come together to get things done for the betterment of their country and fellow Americans.
Watch the President and First Lady’s Christmas message here:
From the White House transcript:
THE PRESIDENT: Merry Christmas, everybody. Michelle and I just wanted to take a moment today to send greetings from our family to yours……
THE FIRST LADY: This month, more than 100,000 Americans have passed through these halls. And the idea behind this year’s theme, “Simple Gifts,” is that the greatest blessings of all are the ones that don’t cost a thing – the comfort of spending time with loved ones…the freedoms we enjoy as Americans… and the joy we feel upon giving something of ourselves.
So in this time of family, friends, and good cheer; let’s also be sure to look out for those who are less fortunate, who’ve hit a run of bad luck, or who are hungry and alone this holiday season.
THE PRESIDENT: Because this is the season when we celebrate the simplest yet most profound gift of all: the birth of a child who devoted his life to a message of peace, love, and redemption. A message that says no matter who we are, we are called to love one another – we are our brother’s keeper, we are our sister’s keeper, our separate stories in this big and busy world are really one.
Today, we’re also thinking of those who can’t be home for the holidays – especially all our courageous countrymen serving overseas…..So we’re encouraging Americans to ask what you can do to support our troops and their families in this holiday season. For some ideas on how to get started, just visit Serve.gov.
THE FIRST LADY: If you live near a base, you can reach out through your local school or church. If you don’t, you can volunteer with organizations that support military families. And anybody can send a care package or pre-paid calling card to the front lines, or give what’s sometimes the most important gift of all: simply saying “thank you.”
THE PRESIDENT: America’s brave servicemen and women represent a small fraction of our population. But they and the families who await their safe return carry far more than their fair share of the burden. They’ve done everything they’ve been asked to do. They’ve been everything we’ve asked them to be. And even as we speak, many are fighting halfway around the globe – in hopes that someday, our children and grandchildren won’t have to.
The importance of the fabric of community weaves its way through the threads of President Obama’s speeches as well as his approach to governing. His notions of America as a community that encourages self-reliance but does not turn its back on the disadvantaged as well as America as a part of the larger world community that participates with respect rather than wielding its power while disregarding other world actors’ needs are an important shift.
Though it’s easy to focus on all of the change we want still to see, today is a good day for reflection and gratitude, as well as a chance to wish the President and all Americans a New Year resplendent with Americans who are willing to work with the President within their communities to bring about the change they seek.
I know, but it’s Christmas. A girl can dream.