In the wake of the holiday season, President Donald Trump has continued to deliver on his campaign pledge to say "Merry Christmas" again and reminded all Americans of the essential importance of Christmas.
During the lighting ceremony at the White House, President Trump spoke on the true meaning of the December 25 holiday, recounting the story of Jesus' birth.
"The Christmas Story begins 2,000 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," he began.
"Whatever our beliefs, we know that the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of his life forever changed the course of human history," he continued. "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. That is what makes every Christmas 'merry,'" he stated.
The president pushed back against the "war on Christmas," early in his presidential campaign, telling Iowa supporters in 2015, "I'm a good Christian. If I become president, we're gonna be saying 'merry Christmas' at every store."
Speaking at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, Trump reminded audiences of that promise.
"Remember I said we're bringing Christmas back? Christmas is back, bigger and better than ever before. We're bringing Christmas back," he said. "And we say it now with pride. Let me just say, to those here today and all across the country: Merry Christmas to everybody. (Applause.) And also, happy holidays and a great New Year. We're going to have a great, great year."
Trump made sure his official Christmas card, signed by the president, the First Lady, and their 11-year-old son, Barron, reflected this sentiment by wishing Americans a "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" instead of the more generic salutation of "happy holidays."
The Trump family Christmas card stands in contrast to the one former President Barack Obama sent last Christmas, which wished Americans a "joyous holiday season" and included a family photo.
Throughout his presidency, Obama also made sure his cards offered politically correct, less exclusively Christian messages such as "season's greetings" or "happy holidays."
In 2009, a New York Times piece titled "The Spotlight's Bright Glare" reported that then-White House Social Secretary Desirée Rogers had reportedly described the Obamas' plan for a "non-religious Christmas."
"We want it to be inclusive, diverse, representative of all Americans, celebratory, authentic," Rogers had said.
In late 2011, then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), a candidate for the GOP's 2012 presidential nomination, criticized Obama for bowing to political correctness and asserted that "there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in schools."