Public Papers - 1991
Message on the Observance of Christmas
At Christmas, we celebrate the promise of salvation that God gave to mankind almost 2,000 years ago. The birth of Christ changed the course of history, and His life changed the soul of man. Christ taught that giving is the greatest of all aspirations and that the redemptive power of love and sacrifice is stronger than any force of arms. It is testimony to the wisdom and the truth of these teachings that they have not only endured but also flourished over two millennia.
Blessed with an unparalleled degree of freedom and security, generations of Americans have been able to celebrate Christmas with open joy. Tragically, that has not always been the case in other nations, but we look to the future with optimism, and we celebrate the holidays with special gladness as courageous peoples around the world continue to claim the civil and religious liberty to which all people are heirs. The triumph of democratic ideals and the lessening of global tensions give us added reason for celebration this Christmas season, and as the world community draws closer together, the wisdom of Christ's counsel to ``love thy neighbor as thyself'' grows clearer.
By His words and by His example, Christ has called us to share our many blessings with others. As individuals and as a Nation, in our homes and in our communities, there are countless ways that we can extend to others the same love and mercy that God showed humankind when He gave us His only Son. During this holy season and throughout the year, let us look to the selfless spirit of giving that Jesus embodied as inspiration in our own lives -- giving thanks for what God has done for us and abiding by Christ's teaching to do for others as we would do for ourselves.
Barbara joins me in wishing all of our fellow Americans a Merry Christmas. God bless you.