PALM BEACH, Fla. – President Donald Trump was getting into the holiday spirit Tuesday but, like millions of Americans, he also hadn’t fully finished Christmas shopping.
Speaking to U.S. soldiers on Christmas Eve from his Mar-a-Lago resort, the president said he had not yet picked up a gift for first lady Melania Trump. Asked what he got her, Trump said he had only a “a beautiful card” and is “still working on a Christmas present.”
“We love our family and we love each other,” Trump said.
Trump, who has claimed that Americans are saying “Merry Christmas” more frequently because of his presidency, waved off the “Christmas gift” threatened by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The dictator has been making the threats to pressure the U.S. to resume talks over lifting sanctions on the country.
Instead of a missile test, as some believe Kim is threatening, Trump appeared to joke that it might be an actual Christmas gift.
“Maybe it’s a present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test,” Trump said. “I may get a vase. I may get a nice present from him. You don’t know. You never know.”
The “beautiful card” the president said he got for the first lady is apparently a go-to gift. That’s the same gift the president said he got his wife for her 48th birthday.
That card, at least, came with flowers.
“Maybe I didn’t get her so much,” Trump told Fox in an April interview. “I got her a beautiful card, you know I’m very busy to be running out looking for presents. I got her a beautiful card and some beautiful flowers.”
The president was speaking to several troops Tuesday stationed throughout the world, a conversation that has become a tradition for presidents at the holidays. Sitting in front of a large video monitor, Trump praised them having the “Taliban running scared.”
Trump mentioned they would receive a pay raise in January under legislation he signed last week.
“You make it possible for us to do what we have to do,” Trump said. “I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.”
Later Tuesday evening, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attended Christmas Eve services at the Family Church-Downtown, a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated church in West Palm Beach. From their seats in the third row, the first couple were treated to lively renditions of “O’ Little Town of Bethlehem” and other Christmas songs and a Biblical reading about the birth of Jesus.
The service was a departure for the first couple, who in the past have attended Christmas Eve services at the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, an Episcopal church where they were married in 2005.
Later, while arriving for their annual Christmas Eve dinner at Mar-a-Lago, Trump was asked if he prayed at church for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom he accused earlier in the day of hating his supporters and the Republican Party.
His response: “We’re going to have a great year.”