The White House has released a Christmas photo showing President Donald Trump and his wife Melania speaking on the telephone with children, as they track Santa Claus’ movements on Christmas Eve.
The photo was taken as the president and his wife spoke with 11 children to discuss the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Santa Tracker.
Mr Trump and his family are spending Christmas at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
In the early hours of Christmas Day – at 3am – the president tweeted that he was delighted people were using the phrase "Merry Christmas" again, instead of the ‘politically-correct’ "Happy Holidays".
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!!!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 25, 2017
Earlier in December his daughter Ivanka was pilloried on Twitter for posting a photo of herself with the phrase her father had raged against.
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Happy Holidays! 😘 pic.twitter.com/XLBj2zg2Ql
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) December 12, 2017
On Christmas Eve morning the president and his wife attended a church service at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea.
Reverend James Harlan, the church’s rector, gave a homily focused on the themes of the power of words and God’s light.
He began by quoting Nelson Mandela, whom he noted rebelled against his government for its systemic oppression, and connected the power of words – especially as it pertains to God’s word – to their ability to educate, enlighten and draw out the best in people.
He also cautioned words can be used to cause harm.
“Your words can have as much destructive potential as they do healing,” he said. “God’s word is pure light.”