Christmas celebrated for over 2,000 years and Memorable Presidential Christmas Messages

President John F. Kennedy stated December 17, 1962: "Christmas ... is the most sacred and hopeful day in our civilization."


For over 2,000 years, Christmas has been one of the world's most celebrated dates.


Clovis, King of the Francs, was baptized with 3,000 of his soldiers on Christmas Day at Rheims, France by Saint Remigius. The name Clovis evolved into Louis, which was the name of 22 French kings.


On Christmas Day, 597 A.D., 10,000 Anglo-Saxons were baptized in England on the banks of the Swale sea inlet between the isle of Sheppey and Kent by Saint Augustine of Canterbury and his companion missionaries.


On Christmas Day, 800 A.D., Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Saint John Lateran Church, Rome, Italy. 
King Edmund of East Anglia, England, was crowned on Christmas Day in 855 A.D.


"Good King Wenceslas," a Bohemian-Czech Duke, 907-935, undertook a journey through a harsh winter storm to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen, December 26.


Saint Stephen, the first martyr, is remembered with the giving of presents to the poor. In Britain, this is called Boxing Day, as presents were put in boxes and given to employees, workers, and the less fortunate.


Otto the Second, King of Italy and Germany, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day in 967 A.D. by Pope John the Thirteenth in Rome. After his death, his son, Otto the Third, was crowned King of Germany in Aachen on Christmas Day in 983 A.D.


On Christmas Day, 1000 A.D., Hungary crowned Saint Stephen the First as its King. His pious son was Saint Emeric. The Italian spelling of Emeric is Amerigo, who was the namesake of Amerigo Vespucci, the mapmaker for whom the continent was named, America.


On Christmas Day, 1013 A.D., the Danish Viking Sweyn Forkbeard was crowned King of England.


On Christmas Day, 1025 A.D., Mieszko the Second Lambert was crowned King of Poland.


On Christmas Day, 1046 A.D., Henry the Third of Germany and his wife, Agnes, were crowned Holy Roman Emperor and Empress by Pope Clement the Second.


On Christmas Day, 1066 A.D., William the Conqueror was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey, London.


The Generous King Bolesaw the Second, who built numerous churches and monasteries across Poland, was crowned on Christmas Day in 1076 A.D.


The Norman conqueror Roger the Second, after driving out Islamist occupiers, was crowned King of Sicily on Christmas Day in 1130 A.D.


Stephen of Blois was crowned King of England on December 26, 1135 A.D.


Eric the Fifth was crowned King of Denmark on Christmas Day in 1259 A.D.


John the Second was crowned King of Castile and Leon on Christmas Day in 1406 A.D.


On Christmas Eve, 1492, Columbus' ship, the Santa Maria, ran aground on the island of Hispanola -- Haiti. Columbus left 40 men and named the settlement la Navidad, promising to return the next year.


In 1776, on Christmas Day evening, General George Washington crossed the Delaware River with his army and won the Battle of Trenton.
President Ronald Reagan described this in his Christmas Eve address, 1983:


"Christmas is also a time to remember the treasures of our own history. We remember one Christmas in particular, 1776, our first year as a nation. The Revolutionary War had been going badly. But George Washington's faith, courage, and leadership would turn the tide of history our way.
On Christmas night he led a band of ragged soldiers across the Delaware River through driving snow to a victory that saved the cause of independence. It's said that their route of march was stained by bloody footprints, but their spirit never faltered and their will could not be crushed.
The image of George Washington kneeling in prayer in the snow is one of the most famous in American history. He personified a people who knew it was not enough to depend on their own courage and goodness; they must also seek help from God, their Father and Preserver."


On Christmas Eve, 1777, Captain James Cook discovered Christmas Island, the largest atoll in the Pacific, where he observed eclipse of the sun.


On Christmas Eve, 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed in Belgium, officially ending the War of 1812.


President John Quincy Adams stated in Newburyport, July 4, 1837:
"In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior ... It forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation."


On Christmas, 1868 A.D., President Andrew Johnson issued a complete and unconditional pardon to all who participated in the insurrection of the Civil War.


In 1869, Mark Twain published Innocents Abroad, telling of his visit to the Church of the Nativity in the Holy Land:
"This spot where the very first 'Merry Christmas!' was uttered in all the world."


In 1870, Christmas was made an official Federal Holiday. President Trump described in his message November 20, 2017:
"In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed legislation making Christmas a Federal holiday. And I sort of feel we are doing that again."



In 1923, the National Christmas Tree was lit for the first time. President Trump described this in his message, December 5, 2019:
"In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge lit the first National Christmas Tree. Later that night, African American community centers held an outdoor worship service on these grounds ... And during that service, the Washington Monument was illuminated with a beautiful cross, a powerful reminder of the meaning of Christmas. Jesus Christ inspires us to love one another with hearts full of generosity and grace."


President Herbert Hoover wrote in 1932:
"Your Christmas Service held each year at the foot of a living tree which was alive at the time of the birth of Christ ... should be continued as a further symbol of the unbroken chain of life leading back to this great moment in the spiritual life of mankind."


President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated on Christmas Eve, 1942:
"It is significant that Christmas Day our plants and factories will be stilled. That is not true of the other holidays. On all other holidays work goes on--gladly--for the winning of the war.
So Christmas becomes the only holiday in all the year. I like to think that this is so because Christmas is a holy day. May all it stands for live and grow throughout the years."



On Christmas Eve, 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt shared during World War Two:
"It is not easy to say 'Merry Christmas' to you, my fellow Americans, in this time of destructive war ... We will celebrate this Christmas Day in our traditional American way ... because the teachings of Christ are fundamental in our lives ... the story of the coming of the immortal Prince of Peace."


On Christmas, December 24, 1946, President Truman stated:
"The message of Bethlehem best sums up our hopes tonight. If we as a nation, and the other nations of the world, will accept it, the star of faith will guide us into the place of peace as it did the shepherds on that day of Christ's birth long ago."
On Christmas Eve, 1947, President Truman lit the National Community Christmas Tree, stating:
"Down the ages from the first Christmas through all the years of nineteen centuries, mankind in its weary pilgrimage through a changing world has been ... strengthened by the message of Christmas ... The angels sang for joy at the first Christmas in faraway Bethlehem.
Their song has echoed through the corridors of time and will continue to sustain the heart of man through eternity ...
A humble man and woman had gone up from Galilee out of the City of Nazareth to Bethlehem ... St. Luke's brief chronicle that Mary 'brought forth her firstborn son, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn'."


President Truman stated on Christmas Eve, 1948:
"The moving event of the first Christmas was the bringing forth of the first born in the stable in Bethlehem. There began in humble surroundings the home life of the Holy Family glorified in song ... down through the centuries ...
With one accord we receive with joy ... the message of the first Christmas ... What could be more appropriate than for all of us to dedicate ourselves to the cause of peace on this Holy Night ... The religion which came to the world heralded by the song of the Angels has endured for nineteen centuries ...
It remains today the world's best hope for peace if the world will accept its fundamental teaching that all men are brothers.
'God that made the world and all things therein ... hath made of one blood all nations of man for to dwell on all the face of the earth.' In the spirit of that message from the Acts of the Apostles, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas."
President Truman stated on Christmas Eve, 1949:
"I have been reading again in our family Bible some of the passages which foretold this night.
It was that grand old seer Isaiah who prophesied in the Old Testament the sublime event which found fulfillment almost 2,000 years ago.
Just as Isaiah foresaw the coming of Christ, so another battler for the Lord, St. Paul, summed up the law and the prophets in a glorification of love which he exalts even above both faith and hope ...
Through that Child love ... the love of the Holy Family could be shared by the whole human family ... We miss the spirit of Christmas if we consider the Incarnation ... a far-off event unrelated to our present problems.
We miss the purpose of Christ's birth if we do not accept it as a living link which joins us together in spirit as children of the ever-living and true God.
In love alone -- the love of God and the love of man -- will be found the solution of all the ills which afflict the world today ... With increasing purpose, emerges the great message of Christianity ... In the spirit of the Christ Child -- as little children with joy in our hearts and peace in our souls -- let us, as a nation, dedicate ourselves anew to the love of our fellowmen .. . the message of the Child of Bethlehem, the real meaning of Christmas."
On Christmas Eve, 1952, President Truman lit the National Community Christmas Tree, stating:
"As we light this National Christmas tree tonight, here on the White House lawn -- as all of us light our own Christmas trees in our own homes -- we remember another night long ago ... Then a Child was born in a stable. A star hovered over, drawing wise men from afar. Shepherds, in a field, heard angels singing ... That was the first Christmas and it was God's great gift to us ...
Year after year it brings peace and tranquility to troubled hearts in a troubled world ... And tonight the earth seems hushed, as we turn to the old, old story of how 'God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life' ...
Let us remember always to try to act and live in the spirit of the Prince of Peace. He bore in His heart no hate and no malice - nothing but love for all mankind. We should try as nearly as we can to follow His example ...
We believe that all men are truly the children of God. As we worship at this Christmastide, let us worship in this spirit ... 
Through Jesus Christ the world will yet be a better and a fairer place ... 
I wish for all of you a Christmas filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and many years of future happiness with the peace of God reigning upon this earth."


President Dwight Eisenhower remarked in 1960:
"Through the ages men have felt the uplift of the spirit of Christmas. We commemorate the birth of the Christ Child by ... giving expression to our gratitude for the great things that His coming has brought about in the world."


President John F. Kennedy stated December 17, 1962:
"Christmas ... is the most sacred and hopeful day in our civilization."
On Christmas Eve, 1968, Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon, entered lunar orbit. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders sent a live television broadcast from 250,000 miles away, reading from the Book of Genesis and giving a Christmas Greeting:
"We are now approaching Lunar sunrise. And for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters ... 
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 
And God saw the light, that it was good ...
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters ... 
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so ... 
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he seas: and God saw that it was good."
Frank Borman ended by saying:
"And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you -- all of you on the good Earth."
President Richard Nixon stated January 20, 1969:
"As the Apollo astronauts flew over the moon's gray surface on Christmas Eve, they spoke to us the beauty of earth -- and in that voice so clear across the lunar distance, we heard them invoke God's blessing on its goodness."
In 1976, Wernher von Braun, “Father of Modern Space Flight,” wrote the forward to a science book, stating:
"When Astronaut Frank Borman returned from his unforgettable Christmas, 1968, flight around the moon with Apollo 8, he was told that a Soviet Cosmonaut recently returned from a space flight had commented that he had seen neither God nor angels on his flight. Had Borman seen God? the reporter inquired. Frank Borman replied, 'No, I did not see Him either, but I saw His evidence.'”
President Jimmy Carter commented in 1977:
"Christmas has a special meaning for those of us who are Christians, those of us who believe in Christ, those of us who know that almost 2,000 years ago, the Son of Peace was born."


President Ronald Reagan stated Christmas Eve, 1983:
"We celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Peace who came as a babe in a manger. Some celebrate Christmas as the birthday of a great teacher and philosopher. But to other millions of us, Jesus is much more. He is divine, living assurance that God so loved the world He gave us His only begotten Son so that by believing in Him and learning to love each other we could one day be together in paradise.
It's been said that all the kings who ever reigned, that all the parliaments that ever sat have not done as much to advance the cause of peace on Earth and good will to men as the man from Galilee, Jesus of Nazareth.
And, yes, let us remember all those who are persecuted ... not because they commit a crime, but because they love God in their hearts and want the freedom to celebrate Hanukkah or worship the Christ Child."


On Christmas Eve, 2017, President Donald Trump tweeted:
"People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again ... I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!"


President Donald Trump lit the National Christmas Tree, November 20, 2017, stating:
"From the earliest days of our nations, Americans have known Christmas as a time for prayer and worship, for gratitude and good will, for peace and renewal. Melania and I are full of joy at the start of this very blessed season ... 


The Christmas story begins 2000 years ago with a mother, a father, their baby son, and the most extraordinary gift of all, the gift of God's love for all of humanity ...
There's hardly an aspect of our lives today that his life has not touched: art, music, culture, law, and our respect for the sacred dignity of every person everywhere in the world.
Each and every year at Christmas time we recognize that the real spirit of Christmas is not what we have, it's about who we are - each one of us is a child of God. That is the true source of joy this time of the year."


President Trump stated in his 2017 Christmas message:
"Whatever our beliefs, we know that the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of this incredible life forever changed the course of human history ...
We're thrilled to think of the people across the nation and all across the continent whose spirits are lifted by the miracle of Christmas. For Christians, this is a Holy season - the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."


On December 5, 2019, President Trump stated::
"At Christmas, we remember this eternal truth: Every person is a beloved child of God. As one grateful nation, we praise the joy of family, the blessings of freedom, and the miracle of Christmas ... More than 2,000 years ago, a brilliant star shone in the East. Wise men traveled ... a long distance ... And they came and they stood with us under the star, where they found the Holy Family in Bethlehem. 
As the Bible tells us, when the Wise Men 'had come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and fell down and worshiped him ... Christians give thanks that the Son of God came into the world to save humanity."
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I John 4:10 declares: "This is love: not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins."
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  • James k Johnson on

    Christmas Day we celebrate our Heavenly Father’s gift of His Son. The world recognizes Jesus’ birth by sharing gifts, and His death by our calendar. However, billions miss His Plan of Redemption!

  • Penny Stockdell on

    Thank you for continuing to bring the historical truth to us through your news letters. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

  • Penny Stockdell on

    Thank you for continuing to bring the historical truth to us through your news letters. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

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