When it comes to talking about Christmas, it seems there’s some hesitancy on the part of our public figures these days to recognize the heart and soul of this particular holiday, namely, that the promised Savior, Jesus, was born. Such is the tragic by-product of political correctness which attempts to whitewash history into an inoffensive mishmash of feel-goodism.
This, of course, wasn’t always the case. I would have been twenty-years-old when President Reagan gave this address to the nation as Christmas day approached. Notice how President Reagan didn’t shy away from acknowledging that Jesus “was, and is, the promised Prince of Peace.” Enjoy!
December 23, 1981
At Christmas time, every home takes on a special beauty a special warmth. And that’s certainly true at the White House where so many famous Americans have spent their Christmases over the years. This fine old home—the people’s house—has seen so much, been so much a part of all our lives and history.
G.K. Chesterton once said that “The world would never starve for wonders, but only for the want of wonder.” At this special time of year we all renew our sense of wonder in recalling the story of the first Christmas in Bethlehem nearly 2,000 years ago.
Some celebrate Christmas as the birthday of a great and good philosopher and teacher. Others of us believe in the Divinity of the child born in Bethlehem, that He was, and is, the promised Prince of Peace.
Yes, we’ve questioned why He, who could perform miracles, chose to come among us as a helpless babe. But maybe that was His first miracle; His first great lesson that we should learn to care for one another.
Tonight, in millions of American homes the glow of the Christmas tree is a reflection of the love Jesus taught us. Like the shepherds and wise men of that first Christmas, we Americans have always tried to follow a higher light—a star if you will. At lonely campfire vigils along the frontier, in the darkest days of the Great Depression, through war and peace, the twin beacons of faith and freedom have brightened the American sky.
At times our footsteps may have fallen, but trusting in God’s help we’ve never lost our way. Just across the way from the White House stand the two great emblems of the holiday season: a Menorah, symbolizing the Jewish festival of Hanukkah and the National Christmas Tree, a beautiful towering blue spruce from Pennsylvania.
Like the National Christmas Tree, our country is a living, growing thing planted in the rich American soil. Only our devoted care can bring it to full flower. So let this holiday season be for us a time of rededication.
Christmas means so much because of One special child.
But Christmas also reminds us that all children are special; that they are gifts from God; gifts beyond price that mean more than any presents money can buy. In their love and laughter, in our hopes for their future, lies the true meaning of Christmas.
So, in a spirit of gratitude for what we’ve been able to achieve together over the past year, and looking forward to all that we hope to achieve together in the years ahead, Nancy and I want to wish you all the best of holiday seasons.
As Charles Dickens, who said it so well in A Christmas Carol, “God bless us, every one.”
President Ronald Reagan
As you may remember, President Reagan was known as “The Great Communicator.” As a former Hollywood actor, he often memorized his speeches and delivered them with warmth and a heart-felt passion. You can listen to him giving that message personally. .
May the Prince of Peace richly bless you and your home this Christmas!