It's Okay to Say 'Merry Christmas' Again at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
President Trump vowed to put the Christ back into Christmas, and that’s exactly what he did — delivering on a promise to end the ongoing war on Christmas.
During the first year of the Obama administration, the president and first lady considered removing the nativity from the White House for the sake of inclusivity.
The New York Times buried that yuletide nugget deep inside a story about then-White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers. Read it for yourself, ladies and gentlemen:
Washington is a city that likes its traditions, and Ms. Rogers has raised a few eyebrows by trying to bend them. When former social secretaries gave a luncheon to welcome Ms. Rogers earlier this year, one participant said, she surprised them by suggesting the Obamas were planning a “non-religious Christmas” — hardly a surprising idea for an administration making a special effort to reach out to other faiths.
The lunch conversation inevitably turned to whether the White House would display its crèche, customarily placed in a prominent spot in the East Room. Ms. Rogers, this participant said, replied that the Obamas did not intend to put the manger scene on display — a remark that drew an audible gasp from the tight-knit social secretary sisterhood. (A White House official confirmed that there had been internal discussions about making Christmas more inclusive and whether to display the crèche.)
Yet in the end, tradition won out; the executive mansion is now decorated for the Christmas holiday, and the crèche is in its usual East Room spot.
Yes, good readers, Barack and Michelle Obama wanted to mark their first Christmas in the White House by tossing the Baby Jesus out of the building.
The Obamas made no secret of their quest to fundamentally transform Christmas into a religiously neutral celebration. For a number of years, the White House decorations were more pet-centric than Jesus-centric.
And of course, there were those infamous “religion-free” holiday cards featuring the family dogs without the word “Christmas.”
It ultimately became an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign and one that endeared many culture war voters to the Trump campaign.
“We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values,” the president declared to the Values Voter Summit last September. “You know, we’re getting near that beautiful Christmas season that people don’t talk about anymore. They don’t use the word ‘Christmas’ because it’s not politically correct. You go to department stores, and they’ll say, ‘Happy New Year’ and they’ll say other things. And it will be red, they’ll have it painted, but they don’t say it. Well, guess what? We’re saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”
And sure enough the Trump family’s first presidential holiday card is adorned with the words “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”
And the Christmas decorations are simply spectacular — the White House decorated with lots of red and green and gold. And yes, there’s even a Nativity, an ever-present reminder of the reason for the season.
Thank you, Mr. President, for being a man of your word — a man who is not ashamed to say “Merry Christmas.”