WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP)– President Donald Trump and first woman Melania Trump went to a music-filled Christmas Eve service at Household Church in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Pastor Jimmy Scroggins and his family welcomed the Trumps as they arrived minutes into a “Candlelight Christmas Event” and received applause and cheers while taking reserved seats in the church’s third seat. Short sermons and readings by clergy at the Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated church were interlaced in between standard Christmas tunes, as theatrical smoke billowed and fake snow descended from the rafters.
It was a modification of speed for the Trumps, who had participated in holiday services in the past at Bethesda-by-the-Sea, the Episcopal Church in Palm Beach at which they were wed in 2005.
Trump earlier called military service members stationed throughout the world to share greetings ahead of the Christmas vacation.
Speaking Tuesday by video conference from his personal club in Florida, where is he is on a more than two-week holiday, Trump said, “I desire to wish you an amazing Christmas.” The group consisted of Militaries in Afghanistan, an Army unit in Kuwait, a Navy ship in the Gulf of Aden, an Air Force base in Missouri and a Coast Guard station in Alaska.
Trump praised the militaries for their efforts this year to remove the last of the Islamic State group’s territorial caliphate and for killing IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He likewise touted financial successes in the house and a pay raise for soldiers kicking in the new year.
” You make it possible for us to do what we need to do,” Trump said, thanking them for their service.
Trump briefly fielded concerns from soldiers, including an invitation to participate in the homecoming of the USS Forrest Sherman when the destroyer returns next year to its house port of Norfolk, Virginia.
Trump was asked what he ‘d bought Mrs. Trump for Christmas. A “gorgeous card,” he said, and confessed that he was “still working on a Christmas present.”
” You made me think. I’m going to need to start dealing with that genuine quick,” he said.
On Tuesday night, the very first lady responded to calls from kids throughout the nation as part of North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Operation NORAD Tracks Santa program. Press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Mrs. Trump spoke with numerous kids and heard products on their Christmas lists.
Grisham said Mrs. Trump “advised the kids to put milk and cookies out for Santa, and wished each child and their households a very merry Christmas.”
The president has been mainly out of the spotlight because talking to conservative trainees in neighboring West Palm Beach on Saturday, spending his days playing golf on his private course and welcoming the well-heeled members of his clubs.