President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump left the White House for Mar a Lago on Friday, December 22, 2017.
Earlier that day:
Crowds welcomed him upon his arrival in Florida:
On December 24, the Trumps fielded telephone calls from American children eager for the arrival of Father Christmas. The Daily Mail has a report with spectacular photos:
… the first couple surprised kids who had called in to NORAD to find out where Santa Claus is.
The president and first lady were patched in to a handful of NORAD’s expected 150,000 Christmas Eve calls from the living room at Mar-a-Lago where the Trumps are celebrating their first Christmas in office.
‘What would you like more than anything?’ Trump was overheard asking a child named Casper from Virginia as members of the media briefly listened in.
Reporters were unable to hear Casper’s response, but the president gave the request away in his answer.
‘Building blocks. That’s what I’ve always liked too,’ said the president, who was a successful real estate developer before jumping into politics. ‘I always loved building blocks,’ Trump continued.
‘Well, I predict Santa will bring you building blocks. So many you won’t be able to use them all,’ said the president, using his trademark bombastic language.
Speaking to another child, Trump was impressed by the boy’s Santa request.
‘So you want your grandma to get out of the hospital?’ Trump said. ‘That’s what your wish is?’
‘That’s great,’ the president continued. ‘That’s better than asking for some toy or something, that’s better right?’
He then assured the young boy that grandma would be alright.
‘So your grandma’s gonna be good, OK? She’s gonna be good,’ the president said.
At another moment he told a child, ‘When you’re in Washington, you’ll come and see me.’
In total, the president chatted with 11 kids, while the first lady talked to ten.
This video — trending at No. 27 on YouTube on December 28 — has the conversations:
Trump held a teleconference with various branches of the military to send Christmas greetings:
The US Navy and the crew of the USS Sampson tweeted their appreciation.
The military sent some exceptional tweets this year. I especially liked the Navy’s video. Open in new tab, if necessary:
Trump tweeted another seasonal message later on Christmas Eve:
His friend in Israel sent customary Christmas greetings to the American people. This year, however, is a special one for Benjamin Netanyahu:
The president and Mrs Trump attended the 10:30 p.m. service at the Episcopal church they go to, Bethesda-by-the-Sea.
The Palm Beach Post reported:
Bethesda-by-the-Sea is just under a five-minute drive up the Atlantic Ocean from the president’s Mar-a-Lago Club. The historic sanctuary — it is the oldest Protestant church in the region — has played a major role in the first family’s lives: The president and first lady married there in 2005. Their son, Barron, was christened there the following year. And the couple, occasionally joined by other family members, have attended Christmas Eve and Easter services there.
When Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago in April, first lady Melania Trump took Mrs. Abe to Bethesda-by-the-Sea. “Proud to share part of my family history with Mrs. Abe at the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea where @POTUS & I were married, where we celebrate and we pray,” the first lady said in a post on her @FLOTUS Instagram account accompanied by a photo of the church’s garden.
Security was tight:
Since his election, the president and first lady enter Bethesda-by-the-Sea from the south side of the building, a side entrance that allows more direct access to the seats set aside for them toward the front of the church.
The service was not on Trump’s schedule released to the media, and church officials have declined in the past to confirm whether Trump would attend.
But regular attendees are becoming familiar with the security practices put in place ahead of Trump’s arrival: Worshippers are ushered through metal detectors. Women’s purses are searched. Men in dark suits with earpieces walk the line of parishioners waiting to enter the 500-person capacity sanctuary.
The church was standing room only, but the Palm Beach Post article stated that a few people in the congregation managed to make contact with Trump:
During the greeting, several people gathered around the president to shake his hand. As Communion was offered, people who lined up next to Trump — who was seated on the center aisle — paused to say, “Merry Christmas,” offer words of encouragement or, as one woman did, mouth, “Thank you.”
The Gateway Pundit had a great write up with videos and tweets that I’ve used here, including one of the service. The article says that the choir’s version of Silent Night is ‘hauntingly beautiful’:
I won’t include any of the sermon, as it was the usual Social Justice Warrior material we have come to expect from a once-great denomination.
On December 25, Mrs Trump released a selfie:
Trump tweeted a brief video of the White House — along with a special greeting:
The Palm Beach Post reported:
“Melania and I are delighted to wish America and the entire world a very Merry Christmas,” Trump says in the video.
Trump also quotes a verse from the bible in the book of Isaiah, noting what the celebration of Christmas is about.
Melania speaks about celebrating our blessings as Americans and “prays for peace all over the world.”
Fox News had more:
… the president and first lady Melania Trump released a video message, with Mrs. Trump saying “at this time of year, we see the best of American and the soul of the American people.” President Trump added his own remarks, calling on Americans to “renew the bonds of love and good will between our citizens —and most importantly we celebrate the miracle of Christmas.”
“For Christians we remember the story of Jesus, Mary and Joseph that began more than 2,000 years ago. As the book of Isaiah tells us, for to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. This good news is the greatest Christmas gift of all, the reason for our joy and the true source of our hope.”
Here is the YouTube version, which, even on December 28, is No. 8 in YouTube trends:
The same Fox News article also reported that Trump laid on a grand Christmas dinner for people often taken for granted:
… administration sources confirmed to Fox News that the president also provided and paid for hundreds of Christmas dinners served up to the U.S Secret Service agents and officers, military service members and Palm Beach County sheriff deputies who were working Christmas Day at Mar-a-Lago.
Described as a “Christmas feast,” served in the Mar-a-Lago ballroom, the buffet meal included a menu of turkey, stuffing, potatoes and dessert. The buffet was offered from the early afternoon into the evening, in an effort to cover two of the shifts for security personnel working the holiday.
Christmas is a one-day celebration for President Trump:
The Trumps are still at Mar a Lago. On December 27, the president visited firefighters and first responders in West Palm Beach:
Meanwhile, although the president has to be the most people-oriented and transparent for generations, Trump Derangement Syndrome continues unabated.
And I’m still getting Christmas card messages from across the pond denigrating a man who truly loves his country!
What on earth is wrong with people?