Message on the Observance of Christmas

December 18, 1985

Nancy and I are pleased to share our warmest greetings with all Americans during the celebration of this Christmas season.

Amid all the hubbub and hustle this time of year always brings, we should not forget the simple beauty of that first Christmas long ago. Joseph and Mary, far from home and huddled in a place barely fit for habitation, felt the universal love that binds all families together and a unique awe at the special purpose for which God had chosen them. Gathering around them first the shepherds and later, the Magi -- poor and rich, humble and great, native and foreign -- each bowed before the King whose dominion knows no boundaries. Above them was the Star, the guiding light which would shine down through the centuries for everyone seeking the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

In the center of all lay the infant, born in the shadows and straw of a stable in Bethlehem, yet truly the fulfillment of ancient prophecies and the hope of every age to come.

Today, as we celebrate the birth of Christ in our homes and churches, among family and friends, and by our many different traditions, let us accept and share the generous gifts of joy, peace, and love given on that first Christmas. May we honor them in our hearts and keep them through the year.

Nancy and I pray that this Christmas will be a time of hope and happiness not only for our nation but for all people of the world. Merry Christmas, and God bless you.

Ronald Reagan