Parents can strengthen their family, community, and nation by teaching the true meaning of Christmas. Children need to know that there is something more to Christmas than just getting a lot of presents. Otherwise, they grow up with self-centered attitudes and the idea that the world owes them whatever they want.
After years of being told that the United States is not a Christian country and that everyone should say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” the true meaning of Christmas is back in style. First Lady Melania shows that she is not ashamed to celebrate thebirth of Jesus Christ. When Melania decorated the White House for Christmas, she placed an antique nativity scene among the colorful trees and other scenes.
The 300-year-old nativity scene first was a 1967 gift to the White House from philanthropist and collector Mrs. Charles W. Englehard, a founding member of First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s committee to restore the aging White House.
Albert J. Menendez, author of Christmas in the White House, wrote that Mrs. Kennedy’s successor, Lady Bird Johnson, asked Mrs. Englehard to find an appropriate manger scene for the White House Christmas collection. After scouring Europe, Englehard found the eighteenth century Neapolitan crèche through the Christmas Crib Association of Italy. There are 22 wooden figures in the set, which has a backdrop of wood and terracotta. The figures are ornately dressed and the Three Wise Men ride horses instead of camels.
Baby Jesus is crowned.
President Donald Trump is not a whit behind Melania. He spoke at the 96th annual lighting of national Christmas tree and shared part of the Christmas story. He led the countdown to the time when the First Lady would flip the switch to light the giant Colorado blue spruce tree. “Merry Christmas, everybody. We just have to say it all together: Merry, merry Christmas.” He then spoke to the nation and the world to open the Christmas season by recognizing the true meaning for the celebration.
For Christians, this is a Holy season – the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Christmas story begins 2000 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.
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. 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.
Each and every year at Christmas time we recognize that the real spirit of Christmas is not what we have, it’s about who we are – each one of us is a child of God.
That is the true source of joy this time of the year.
And that is what we remember at today’s beautiful ceremony, that we are called to serve one another, to love one another, and to pursue peace in our hearts and all throughout the world.
Trump is far from being a prophet or spiritual leader, but he is not afraid to proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God and that Christmas is the celebration of His birth. He is also not afraid to say “Merry Christmas.” We can follow his example of courage. We can teach the true meaning of Christmas, wish “Merry Christmas” to our family members, friends, and neighbors, and we can strengthen our families, communities, and nations by doing so.