Christmas Comes to Washington

While year-end battles are underway in Washington’s corridors of power, signs of Christmas are in the air. Indeed, national trees at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue have been decorated and lit for the joyous holiday.

Last Thursday, President Obama oversaw the festivities on the White House lawn with the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. He declared,

[T]onight, once again, we gather here not simply to light some decorations, but to honor a story that lights the world. More than 2,000 years ago, a child was born to two faithful travelers who could find rest only in a stable, among the cattle and the sheep. But this was not just any child.  Christ’s birth made the angels rejoice and attracted shepherds and kings from afar. He was a manifestation of God’s love for us. And He grew up to become a leader with a servant’s heart who taught us a message as simple as it is powerful:  that we should love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves.

Similarly, at the lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree on Tuesday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) stated,

Though winter is upon us, the Christmas tree flourishes as a symbol of everlasting life.  That life and light, of course, is Christ, whose birth to Mary fulfilled a prophecy of joy and salvation.  Out in the fields where the shepherds slept, the angels broke the silence by singing, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, goodwill toward men.’  We best serve this story by serving one another … by showing it is more blessed to give than to receive, especially when so many of our fellow citizens are without jobs and in need.  For Christmas is not a distant historical event.  It is a spirit, always bringing us closer to each other and closer to the peace of which the angels sang.