tv Hannity FOX News December 22, 2012 2:00am-3:00am PST
beliefs and values we will again. when we look back on our lives we probably won't spend a lot of time thinking about the fiscal cliff or even the 2012 election but we will remember the moments we shared with our family and our friends during the holidays. those memories and the chance to create new ones make this time of year different from any other. more than 2,000 years ago a child was born in a lowly manger who saved a people and changed a world. may you see miracles big and small next week and in the new year. and that is it for us tonight. thanks for watching. i'm in for bill o'reilly. please remember the is spin it stops right here because we are always looking out for you. captioned by closed captioning services, inc. >> sean: marry christmas and welcome to this hannity holiday special. in a few minutes we will take you to afghanistan for an exclusive look at how our
troops stay connected to families back home during the holidays. and we will also hear a timeless message from president ronald reagan recorded 32 years ago but still just as meaningful tonight. first, pastor rick wa warren hs book the purpose driven life has been read by more than 60 million people worldwide and currently bel rereleased to celebrate its 10th anniversary. i sat down with pastor warren to talk about the meaning of christmas. what does christmas mean to rick warren? >> the very first christmas the angels said three things. those three things are the three purposes of christmas. celebration. salvation. reconciliation. here are the three things. the first thing the angel announced is is i bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people. christmas is a time to celebrate and america right now needs to sel celebrate. people are down and discouraged.
we had four, nearly five years of bad economic news. we need a party. [ laughter ] >> we need to celebrate. >> when pastor warren says you need a party, all right. >> i bring you good news of great joy. by the way which shall be for all people. >> sean: can we turn the water into wine, too, in the process? >> it christmas is not just for christians. which hall be for all people. it is for all people. a time for celebration. >> the angel said behold i bring to you born in this day in the the city of david is a savior this christ the lord. we all need a sav saviour. >> we need saving from our sins. from ourselves. from our faults. but a lot of people need being saved financially. they need to be saved emotionally. they need to be saved relationally. out of a life of drug abuse or a battered wife.
throw the football are a lot of people. there is -- there are a lot of people -- the sal expectations is personal and -- the salvation is personal and it is universal in the salvation of jesus christ on the cross dying for our sins but also what else do i need to be saved from in my life and it is an ongoing thing. >> sean: you probably are the second biggest seller of books of anybody. two books i read, heaven is real, the story of this little boy. and piper's book dan piper i think is his name, 90 minutes in heaven. >> yeah. >> sean: what do you think happens when you die? what do you think happens? >> well, the bible says real clearly to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord. in other words, i instantly go into the presence of god. >> sean: that's it? >> that's it. who delay. you go directly. >> sean: but you believe in hell? >> of course, i do. >> sean: so some people are not
instantly. >> the bible says jesus said to the thief on one side of the cross he said lord remember me when you come into the the kingdom and jesus said today, this day you will be in paradise. not tomorrow. not in a year. today. >> sean: so if straight and narrow is the way and few are those who find it, does that mean few get to heaven? >> well, certainly it does. and. >> sean: so that the majority of us then go to hell? >> the issue is this. >> sean: not a great thing to be talking about at christmas time. by the way. >> two doors. this goes to life with eternity with god and this one says eternity without god. >> sean: right. >> if i walk out the door that says eternity without god, do i blame god for that? no. that is my right. >> that is my choice. and so i choose to go to hell. you have to do almost the impossible. what you have to do, you have to reject the grace of jesus
christ that he has offered and freed everybody. >> sean: doesn't that go against straight and narrow is the way and few are those who find it? isn't that predicated on a belief. you are the pastor i'm just the humble questioner here. few are those that find it. few you. >> and the reason why few find it is because fundamentally we all want to be god. >> sean: we have pride. ego. the fall of man. >> the middle letter of is sin is "i." the middle letter of pride is "i." it is all about me. it was pride that got satan kicked out of h heaven. and what caused not just for us to miss heaven and end up in hell, is the pride that says i want to be god and i want to be god and i want to do it my way. now, heaven is god's place. it is his house. he gets to choose how we go there. i don't get to choose that. >> sean: says he goes to prepare in my father's house for many mansions and i go to
prepare a place for you. >> jesus said i am the way. the truth and the life. he didn't say one way or the best way. he didn't say i'm a good way. he said i'm it. i'm the way. >> sean: that's it. >> hear is what i hear a lot of people saying. i believe jesus was a great man and a great teacher. that is the one thing he could not possibly be. because he claimed to be god. if you are a good teacher you don't make that kind of claim. you are either who you are or you are a fake, you are are a phoney, you are a nut case. >> sean: you have to solve a debate between my mas master'sn divinity wife andself. why call egg me good, it is my father he doeth the works. he separates himself from his father. >> now, you are getting to the issue of the trinity which has been often stated to try to
deny the trinity is to lose your soul. to try to understand the trinity is to lose your mind. [ laughter ] >> sean: how many angels -- >> because for me to understand really all about god, it is like an and th ant trying to ud the internet. i don't have the brain capacity. fy could understand how god really worked i would be god. one of the greatest source of stress relief if my life is to repeat this three times every day. god it god and i'm not. god is good and i'm not. >> perrmerry christmas. good to see you. >> sean: lots nor come as this hannity holiday special continues. how the troops in afghanistan are spending the holidays and ainsley earhardt with the inspirational story of a special homecoming
when we realize how important family friends and community are to our lives. one man who knows that more than any one else is army sergeant joe pave ram. ainsley earhardt traveled to get it amazing story. >> it started out like any other in southern iraq. two days away from returning home to the states this sergeant volunteered to join some other soldiers in it pulling last minute guard duty. >> about 300-meters in front of me was the vehicle that sergeant tavera and the other soldiers were riding in when it was hit by a rocket. the vehicle exploded and spun around a couple of times and by the time i got up there sergeant tavear was right next to the vehicle and the vehicle was in flames. >> the captain quickly pulled joel away from the wreckage. >> he was coupletl completely d
in flames from the explosion. he was making noises so i knew he was alive. combinations of severe head injuries and severe burns throughout his body. amputations and multiple neurorow logical type problems. >> i came from work and my husband is waiting for me at the front door and he said i have to tell you something. >> she walked in and i said we got to talk. she immediately said it's joel. >> i said don't tell me nothing happened to my son. >> i said, yes. but he is alive. and then she he wanted to know what happened and it was like. >> how you tell your wife this, your baby that you held at one point. >> that was the hard part for me to tell my wife. >> joel was in a coma with injuries and burns so severe that nobody expected him to survive. >> many people stated he had probably the most serious
injuries in the war. this person was not supposed to live. >> they called me from germany and they said your son is very critical. i don't think so that he make it to america. and then i -- i told them he is coming. >> i promise if you keep him alive for me i will take care of him, i said to god. >> after 81 days in a coma, joel woke up at brook army medical center in it texas. >> i didn't know where i was at. i could have woke up in timbuktu and i didn't know what was going on. it was like really. >> he lost a leg, his eyes, fingers on one hand. suffered a traumatic brain injury and burned on more than 60% of his body. his parents put their lives on hold to be with their son as he learned to walk and speak again and endured dozens and dozens
of surgeries and with their support he began his unbelievable recovery. >> joel went from not even walking to walking, talking, running around, dancing and everything. >> then about two years ago joe met andy who had been through a life changing experience of his own when ran to the world trade center on 9/11 to help with the search and rescue. >> i lost three friends than day and i made a promise to them that i would do something for my country that made a difference. >> he started a charity called building homes for heros and that is exactly what they do. building mortgage free homes for severely injured soldiers. >> he asked me what do you want, joel. i want to be in a private gated community and i would like to have a backyard. >> andy and his 000 volunteers and william ryan homes got the to work. >> this is our groundbreaking ceremony for the 9th home that building homes for heros.
>> and from the first scoop of dirt to the last coat of paint they didn't stop. >> took us five months to build this home from beginning to end. >> working constantly. >> every day. we don't miss a day. to us, veteran's day is 365 days out of the year. >> reporter: the result is a brand new home especially designed for joel and his injuries. >> this house is beautiful. built in five months. >> built in five months. we started about a year ago raising the funds. 4200 square feet and it is beautiful. >> we arrived the day before andy was set to hand over the keys. >> we were doing finishing touches. 11th hour work but just about all done. >> so he has heated pool, a jacuzzi. >> a special soft water to accommodate the burns in his skin. >> wow. >> and it has therapeutic jets with a jacuz ditched and a spectacular backyard to enjoy with his friends. >> after 75 surgeries and four years of medical care, sergeant
tavera is finally able to walk out of this hospital and go to a place he can call home and along with it a true hero's home coming from the doors of the hospital joel and his parents are met by a caravan of police officers, fire trucks, military vehicles and veterans leading the way through tampa streets. bag pipers escort them through his new neighborhood where more than a thousand members of the community are waiting. >> sergeant joel tavera, son to the proudest and most loving parents i have ever known. son to me and many here are today. son to a nation. son to the us of a. welcome home, son. >> reporter: huge crowds are no surprise to any one who knows joel and the impact he has on everyone he meets. >> there is no finer example of courage and commitment and
self-less service and dedication. he has got an unbelievable spirit. he has got a smile on his face. he loves life. >> when you see people like joel and what they have gone through, i mean it is -- i mean how can you not want to do whatever you possibly can to help them get back on their feet. >> i guess last time he saw me i was on a bed and laid up and not doing anything with my life. >> he is sharp. articulate. he is funny. and god bless him, he just got banged up bad on the outside but the inside he is still the same guy. >> earlier i was referenced as to a hero. i don't really look at it that way. i signed up to do my job. i got hurt are. i managed to survive. >> you are! you are! [ applause ] >> i have known that man for a year and a half and i never one time heard him complain about anything. nothing. i don't know that i would be
the man he is. >> y'all don't see me on my bad days. >> do you have bad days? >> we are all human. i'm not perfect. no one is perfect. >> takes on every day with a smile. amazing. if everyone in the country could meet him, the country would be a better place. >> sean: ainsley earhardt joins us. you said something as we were talking about this story you said, you know, you do stories, he changed your life. >> absolutely. >> sean: explain that? >> he is an amazing man and brought me per specttive to my life. 60 to 70% of his body burned. 75 plus surgeries. lost his leg and both of his eyes. physically he looks completely different than he did when went to war and he did all this for our country and for our freedom and came home with such a positive attitude. so many people were there to honor him and to celebrate with him. and when you can see a guy that
has gone through all of this and he still has a smile on his face especially during the holiday season it reminds you you perspective and how grateful we need to be and his mom said i don't even complain any more because when i wake up my son every morning or go to see him in the morning and he has a smile on his face how can i ever complain? >> sean: and he wants to help other people now and people with war injuries and he will speak around the country. >> he has such an opportunity. he is really good friends with the guy who was on dancing with the stars and there for the finale. they have become buddies because they both have sim is larenta stories. to donate to this charity. >> sean: it is a great cause. >> building homes for heros. because there is one charity called homes for heros. this is building homes for heros. make sure you give to the right charity. >> sean: what a great story and truly inspiring guy. amazing organization. they are from long island, new york. if you like to help people like
>> sean: welcome back to this hannity holiday special. for the past three years we have brought you exclusively behind the scenes of operation patriot care package an effort created by michael and monica to raise awareness about the sacrifices that military durings make not just doug the the holidays but all year long. they followed the blackhawks who are double deployed. they are based in germany and have to leave loved ones far
from friends and family when they deploy, in this case to afghanistan. >> we are one of the closest patrol bases to the border of afghanistan/pakistan. >> one day the u.s. will leave this country and you have the ebt and a and a to keep you guys safe. >> the kids here don't have anything and they get excited about everything. >> little guy. >> it makes me miss mine actually. just seeing how he lights up when i gave him things and see how they light up when we give them stuff. that is what makes me happy. >> to be separated for the holidays is tough. this s my fifth christmas deployed. it weighs on you a little bit. you see friends and family back in germany and not united states there without you. receiving packages that are meant for that holiday. so for a soldier to get a christmas present from a
complete strange is an amazing experience for that soldier, especially one that doesn't receive very many packages. we are in a unique situation where we are. we live in germany so being in afghanistan we are technically double deployed. spouses away from the primary family back in the united states. separated by a goody's trans and you have their husbands forward here in afghanistan. it makes it that much harder. the good news is this is one of the strongest frgs i have seen if not the best. >> the frg stands for family readiness group. the main goal is information dissemination. we try to keep them informed to help themselves. the frg is a family readiness group. it is a collaboration of all of the wives that are in the company setting. we pretty much are the glue
that holds the familiness together when the guys are gone. >> very important. i think it is very important. a little box of love is what i like to call it. >> for people to recognize and do things for them out of their own pockets is amazing. so the soldiers angels are our angels in fact right now because we do have the funds and the means but what we get paid isn't enough to do it for everybody. >> my husband has been in the military five years. we have been married about three and a half. and right now, i'm pregnant and due you here a month after christmas with our first child. the son ogram from my last appointment. and a note. i'm puting that. the best thing i can send is the sonogram.
he gets so excite. >> we had lilian august 23. brad wasn't able to come home. he will be home hopefully at the beginning of next year and meet her for the first time. we are excited to meet daddy, right, lily? >> unfortunately, with the situation on the ground here we just arrived in country and assumed the mission. so i wasn't able to make it home for the birth. my wife is a very impressive woman to watch me go away for the third time now and this one to have a child and raise it on her own. she is a spectacular woman. >> they miss a lot of things and the army family especially being over in europe. give love to daddy. he misses him. this hardest part s being the mommy and the daddy. >> merry christmas! >> how is everybody doing? >> all right. here today to receive a couple of care packages. we have ones that were packed by our rfg.
they were packed especially for you. it is a by name box. we were talking about some stuff and people were saying that america has kind of foregotten about the war that has been going on for more than ten years now. for most people that is not true because you have is complete stranges and, of course, mr. chuck norris and soldier's angels who took the time out of their day and their own pocket to send you a care package. >> let you know how big he is getting even though i'm not there. like you can tell by how he does stuff. >> hi, babe. i just want to say i love you and i can't wait for you to come home. i miss you so much. >> hey, babe, have a good day. see you soon. not too much longer and you will be home. love you. bye, babe. >> i would do anything for them. and that is one -- that is
pretty much my main motivation is making sh sure i come back and especially make sure all of my guys come back. >> i wish you were home for christmas. it is not a christmas without you, dad. i hope you like this christmas card drawn for you. i love you, dad, so much. this will be the card for you, dad. merry christmas, dad. are. >> hi, kevin. we love you. we miss you. we hope you stay safe. have a merry christmas. we love you. >> stay safe. >> we love you, kevin. >> stay safe, daddy. >> can't wait to see you when you come home. everybody blow daddy kisses. >> sometimes it's tough. i wish i was there but i'm
here. it's what i do. >> it really means a lot to the soldiers to be out here so close to the afghanistan/pakistan border and isolated from the rest of the brigade and being deployed forward from family to receive a package like that and know that someone is thinking about them. >> kelley. >> thanks for being heros for us. we love you guys. support from home. >> i would like to say hi to my mom and my dad and the rest of my family and especially my daughter victoria.
>> robr. >> thank you. >> awesome. >> sonograms of our kid. pulling for a boy. hopefully it is a boy. here are pictures from my last two doctor's appointments. the last one is pretty good. the baby actually looks normal. i love you. so does the baby. karrie. >> just received our christmas package from my wife so. hang the christmas wreath. very important. reminds us what we are missing back home. knowing she is not going to have me there for the kids and herself. another christmas deployed. >> sean: for more information on operation care package go to patriot care package .com.
coming up next, it was quite possibly one of the most turbulent and important holiday seasons in american history. december 1941. the united states had just been thrown into a war and we got an unexpected visit from a rock solid ally. churchill's american christmas, next. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase.
welcome back to our hannity holiday is special. 71 years ago the christmas season was thrown in a chaos after the attack pearl harbor had drawn the united states into world war ii. it was a time when america's special relationship with the british was forged. winston churchill made a surprise visit to washington, d.c. and the sea spirit of the holiday season amidst all of the chaos was not lost on him.
>> we may cast aside for this night at least the dangers which beset us and make all of children an evening of happiness in a world of storm. >> sean: churchill would stay with president roosevelt for three weeks addressing a joint session of congress and going to church with the president. the remarkable period just a small part of a best sell ising book the last lion. it is the third volume of the churchill biography started by william manchester and completed by paul reid who joins me now. a remarkable man, churchill. one of the remarkable figures in history. before we get to this moment, how long was he an outcast and viewed as an extremist in great britain? >> pretty much h his whole political life. >> sean: before and after his time as prime minister?
>> absolutely. early in the century he had switched from the conservative party to the liberal party and as he said later i ratted which is their way i saying they switched parties and then reratted and came back to the torries who never trusted him through the '20s and '30s. >> sean: he warned of the days of naziism in its time. he was trying to get the united states to take a moral stand and we got an isolationist movement in the country at the time and didn't want u.s. involvement and then comes pearl harbor. >> we are looking at 18 months where he was cajoling roosevelt and begging, he said i must ask you, mr. president, now is the time, i'm paraphrasing. he roosevelt to declare war and begged for 50 destroyers. >> sean: and roosevelt wanted
to get in but was fighting a lot of pressure at home. >> the isolationists, the republican party for the most part, mccormick's newspaper in chicago, after world war i and since george, washington, left office saying no foreign anteinglements did not want any alliance. >> sean: so pearl harbor happens, churchill makes the trip ayos the pond. tell us about that christmas, that time. that moment. obviously the country is in chaos, turmoil. and we just heard churchill at the white house. >> i think it was the bleakest christmas around the world since the days of the plague. i mean this was hong kong fell on christmas day. >> sean: the world was really at risk in world war ii of falling. germany was on the move. you know, we had now we are fighting the japanese. we are now involved in world war ii. it was pretty perilous and in
the bombing of britain, why don't you describe the courage that churchill showed his fellow countrymen? >> it was remarkable in that he shouldn't have gone out nights with his continue hats around cigar to go to the scenes of the bombings but did he and that is what he had to do. if he stayed underground in his bunker as hitler did when the bombs came he wouldn't have inspired any one and ironically they had evacuated dunkirk and they were losing the war and being slaughtered 15 or 18,000 londoners died before christmas that year. and he was out there many nights. >> sean: and he was a character. he liked to drink. he liked to smoke his cigars. >> smoked a lot o of cigars every day and drank a lot every day from morning to night with remarkable constitution and even eleanor roosevelt later said i don't know how he did it except he tired my husband out. >> sean: the book is
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>> sean: now, america might not exist as we know it today had it not been for the events on christmas night 260 years ago. with the help of washington crossing historic park in new jersey, colonel oliver north takes us back to that night. >> christmas night, 1776. etched in the archives of american history as a pivotal moment of victory in the revolutionary war. until that night, only defeat and despair. the rag tag don't mental army was nearly destroyed. >> 1776 started out well for george, washington, and the continental army. when things went to long island it went awful. the troops were literally routed in long island.
it was not going well august to early december for george, washington, and his troops. >> defeat followed washington and his army as they retreated across, new jersey, into pennsylvania. and as harsh winter set in, the morale of the continentals fell. washington's troops faced both a lack of food and clothing. desertion was rampant. exhausted and demoralized a victory was desperately needed. >> all citizens of walking age, come and join general washington's army. >> by early december there was a real feeling that the game was over. the british were very cocky that washington had lost and it was just going to be a matter of picking back up the campaign in the spring and having an easy victory. that is why washington is has a general had to think out of the box, which he did. >> the british army fortified its positions on the east side of the river. there as conditions worsened general washington is conceived
a plan which had only one clear outcome, victory or death. >> this army will not die. and today i bring on a new challenge for you. we have decided to return to new jersey and take -- >> the american revolution was in tatters. the patriots were really on the run. washington couldn't magically come up with blankets and proper clothing and food supplies but what he was able to do was forage, find things around pennsylvania and new jersey and delaware that they could use for the troops but it was thomas payne's the american crisis and washington not only read it but made it mandatory that all troops read payne. it was the famous bit where this is the time that tries men's souls. it is not a moment for sunshine and summer patriots and soldiers. and so there became a new morale and washington brilliantly used payne to tell
troops let's win it this christmas. let's not give up. the troops will be sleeping, they will be kind of preparing forethe winter. this is a perfect time for the continental army to go into what is now known as sort of guerilla warfare mode. >> for fear of discovery by the enemy. we now know where we are going. >> refusing to let the revolution die, washington oldly called for three divisions to cross the delaware river on christmas night. if successful the men would march to trenton, new jersey, and heat a surprise attack with a hope of a decisive victory for the americans. >> victory or death. >> three cheers for general washington. >> durham boats were used for the crossing. they are large and heavy. usually tasked with carrying pig iron down the delaware. not army troops. counting on the support from
two divisions south of trenton, washington assembled the men in preparation for the crossing. >> the idea was if you could cross the delaware even though it was to be frozen and flooded and do a surprise attack on christmas day you could end up not only boosting morale but show that the continental army was far from finished. >> under the cover of a cold christmas night in 1776, 2400 men behe began crossing the ice choked river. it was a treacherous journey. the operation was slow and difficult and an abrupt change in the weather added sleet and snow. the raging winds combined with blinding snow proved to be too much for the is supporting divisions le. they failed to cross the southern points along the delaware. washington's single division was on its own in enemy territory. but on the morning of december 26, washington's troops marched into trenton surprised the garrison and forced their
surrender. >> the battle of trenton was a quick victory for george, washington. they had the gun pudder in order and if the muskets were able to do a complete and utter surprise attack. they were completely caught by surprise and suddenly muskets were pointed at the troops and a short battle ensued and eventually hundreds of troops became prisoners of war and washington had a huge v victor. >> news of the resounding victory spread rapidly throughout the colonies. general washington and his men had turned the tide of war and ignited a new dawn of freedom. >> despite the hardships and lack of pay, the lack of provisions -- >> the ba battle of trenton iny opinion the most significant moment in the american revolution. if washington didn't go on the offense that christmas day it is unlikely that he would have been able to sustain a kind of morale for the american
revolution. the patriot cause was starting to wither and washington provided the big historic military victory. >> and so on that historic christmas night, 1776, with again ral george, washington, led the heroic continental army across the delaware river it gave new hope and new meaning to the american revolution. but what he didn't know at the time was that he also gave america its very first christmas. >> sean: washington crossing historic park was founded in 1917 to preserve the site from which the continental army crossed the river. reenactments take place there every christmas day. be sure to check that out. we jump forward in history to 31 years ago when president ronald reagan looked into the camera from the oval office and spoke to the american people. you will be amazed at how much
again, faced with many of the same struggles and his timeless message sounds as if it could have been delivered just last night. we leave you with a special message from president ronald reagan from december 23, 1981. >> good evening. at christmas time every home takes on a special beauty, a special warmth and that is certainly true with the white house where so many famous americans have spent their christmases over is the years. this fine old home, the people's house has seen so much, been so much a part of all of our lives in history. it has been humbling and inspiring for nancy and me to be spending our first christmas in this place. we all renew our sense of wonder in recalling the story of the first christmas in bethlehem nearly 2,000 years ago. some celebrate christmas as the birthday of a great and good philosopher and teacher. others of us believe in the divinity of the child born in
bethlehem that he was and is the promised prince of peace. yes, we questioned he who could perform miracles chose to come among us as a helpless babe but maybe that was his first miracle. his first great lesson that we should learn to care for one another are. tonight, in millions of american homes the glow of the christmas tree is a reflection of the love jesus taught us. like the shepherds and wisemen of the first christmas we americans have always tried to follow a higher light, a star if you will. at the camp fire ditches along the frontier. in the darkest days of the great depression, through war and peace, a twin beacons of faith and freedom have brightened the american sky. at times our footsteps may have faltered but trusting in god's help we never lost our way. just across the way from the white house stand the two great emblems of the holiday season. a menorah symbolizing the
jewish festival of hanukkah and the national christmas tree, a beautiful to you iterring blue spruce from pennsylvania. our country s a living growing thing planted in rich american soil. only our devoted care can bring it to full flower. let this holiday season be for us a time of rededication. even as we rejoice, however, let us remember that for some americans this will not be as happy a christmas as it should be. i know a little of what they feel. i remember one christmas eve during the great depression my father opening what he thought was a christmas greeting and it was a notice that he no longer had a job. over the past year we have begun the long hard work of economic recovery. our goal is an america in which every citizen who needs and wants a job can get a job. our program for recovery has only been in place for 12 weeks now but it is beginning to
work. with your help and prayers it will succeed. we are winning the battle against inflation, runaway government spending and taxation and that victory will mean more economic growth, more jobs, and more opportunity for all americans. a few months before he took up residence in this house, one of my predecessors john kennedy tried to sum up the temper of the times with a quote from an author closely tied to christmas, charles dickens. we were living he said in the best of times and the worst of times. in some ways that is even more true today. the world is full of peril as well as promise. too many of its people even now live in the shadow of want and tyranny. christmas means so much because of one special child. but christmas also reminds us that all children are special. that they are gifts from god. gifts beyond price that mean more than any presents money
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