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Bidens celebrate Christmas by calling service members with holiday wishes

WASHINGTON (AP), -- President Joe Biden celebrated his first Christmas as an officeholder by calling military personnel stationed all over the globe to offer them holiday wishes and gratitude.

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Bidens celebrate Christmas by calling service members with holiday wishes

His wife Jill and Commander, their puppy, joined him on Saturday to speak via video to military personnel stationed at bases in Qatar and Romania.

He said to the servicemen, "As your Commander in Chief, I wanted to use this opportunity to say Thank You, Thank You, and thank you," "We are grateful for your courage and sacrifice, not just your sacrifice but that of your family."

Biden spoke from the White House studio and said that they are "the solid steel spine" of the country. He also stressed the "truly holy obligation" to care for the families and soldiers.

Jill Biden expressed sympathy for families who spend the holidays apart from loved ones. She noted that Beau, their son, experienced the same difficulties when he was deployed to Iraq as Beau.

The Bidens planned to have a quiet Christmas at White House with their family. According to the White House the president and first lady attended Holy Trinity's Christmas Eve Mass in the East Room on Friday night. They also hosted a pasta dinner with their grandchildren and children, continuing a Biden tradition.

The coronavirus pandemic is escalating again, driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant. The Bidens tried to provide a sense of normalcy and unity through their public appearances and statements in an otherwise difficult season.

The Bidens made a Christmas statement and praised the Americans' "enormous courage and character, resilience, strength, and resolve" in the face the pandemic. They also offered prayers for the nation to find "light in the dark" during this difficult time.

In their statement, the Bidens stated that they were inspired by the many Americans who remind us that the things we hold dear unite us, transcending time and distance.

After spending Christmas Eve spreading holiday cheer throughout Washington, the call to the soldiers was the latest tradition. They visited Children's National Hospital on Friday morning to send holiday greetings to their patients and their families. Jill read to children a book and the president displayed photos of their puppy.

The two of them stopped at a Jill Biden-themed Christmas Tree in Dupont Circle later. In a tribute to his wife's teaching career, the president placed the 2021 White House Christmas ornament among branches decorated with photographs of his wife, apples, and small chalkboards.

Both spoke to children and parents about Christmas wishes, answering calls to the North American Aerospace Defense Command's Santa Tracking service.

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