Remarks by the President at Christmas in Washington

Statement

By:  Barack Obama II
Date: Dec. 9, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Good evening, everybody, and let's give it up for our host --- the tallest elf I've ever seen --- Conan O'Brien. (Laughter and applause.) We're also grateful to all the outstanding performers, the choirs, the glee clubs who are sharing their tremendous talents with us.

Tonight is a chance to get in the Christmas spirit; to spread some joy and sing along with artists who have much better voices than we do. (Laughter.) But it's also a chance to make a real difference in the lives of some very brave young people being treated at Children's National Medical Center. Many of these kids and their parents are going through tough times right now, and your support helps give them a reason to hope --- not just during the holidays, but all year round.

And that's really what Christmas is all about. Each of us is incredibly blessed in so many ways. But those blessings aren't just meant to be enjoyed -- they're meant to be used and shared with those who have less. The Christian faith teaches us that on this day a child was born so that we might have eternal life. And at the heart of many of the world's great religions is the idea that we're all better off when we treat our brothers and sisters with the same love and compassion that we want for ourselves.

So yes, tonight is about Conan and Diana Ross and Santa and all the other talented folks on this stage. But it's also about the Americans who are spending this holiday in a hospital bed, or a shelter, or protecting our freedom on a battlefield far from home. Let's keep them in our prayers, and follow Christ's calling to love one another as He has loved all of us.

Merry Christmas, everybody. God bless you, and God bless these United States of America.