By Todd Starnes
The First Family helped light the National Christmas Tree Friday night, amid a festive celebration of musicians and costumed characters.
President Obama said Christmas is a time “we celebrate the birth of a child who came into the world with only a stable’s roof to shelter Him.”
He also made this statement about Christmas: “It’s a message both timeless and universal — no matter what God you pray to, or if you pray to none at all.”
Following, is a White House transcript of the president’s remarks:
“For 91 years, the National Christmas Tree has stood as a beacon of light and a promise during the holiday season. During times of peace and prosperity, challenge and change, Americans have gathered around our national tree to kick off the holiday season and give thanks for everything that makes this time of year so magical — spending time with friends and family, and spreading tidings of peace and goodwill here at home and around the world.
And this year, we give a special measure of gratitude for Nelson Mandela, a man who championed that generosity of spirit. (Applause.) In his life, he blessed us with tremendous grace and unbelievable courage. And we are all privileged to live in a world touched by his goodness.
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