Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Obama Gives Christmas Message To Children At D.C. Boys and Girls Club

On Monday, President Obama visited a Boys and Girls Club in Washington, D.C. and gave the children present a largely religious-themed message about Christmas. The White House has posted his remarks and the response by the children listening. Here is part of it:

THE PRESIDENT: I think one thing that's important to remember is that, even though there's a lot of fun at Christmas, you know, you got -- especially when it's snowy like this, so it's pretty outside, you got the Christmas tree, you got the Christmas cookies, you've got presents. You know, I think that the most important thing is just to remember why we celebrate Christmas.

CHILD: I know!

THE PRESIDENT: Do you know?

CHILD: The birth of baby Jesus.

THE PRESIDENT: The birth of baby Jesus, and what he symbolizes for people all around the world is the possibility of peace and people treating each other with respect. And so I just hope that spirit of giving that's so important at Christmas, I hope all of you guys remember that as well. You know, it's not just about getting gifts but it's also doing something for other people....

CHILD: I know why we give gifts to other people.

THE PRESIDENT: Why is that?

CHILD: Because the three wise men gave gifts to baby Jesus.

THE PRESIDENT: That's exactly right.... You know, the three wise men, if you think about it, here are these guys, they have all this money, they've got all this wealth and power, and yet they took a long trip to a manger just to see a little baby. And it just shows you that just because you're powerful or you're wealthy, that's not what's important. What's important is what's -- the kind of spirit you have.

So I hope everybody has a spirit of kindness and thoughtfulness, and everybody is really thinking about how can they do for other people -- treating them well, because that's really the spirit of Christmas....

THE PRESIDENT: ...[T]he thing that I want everybody to remember, the most important message I can leave is, is that you guys have so much potential -- one of you could end up being President some day. But it's only going to happen if you stay focused and you work hard in school.... That's the most important thing you can do.