DECEMBER 25, 1945
HYDE PARK, Monday—This is the first Christmas in five years which we celebrate free of the shadow of war. Yet I cannot wish you a Merry Christmas because as we look around the world, we know full well that there are people to whom peace has not yet come.
Some men and women still are fighting for the very things which victory by the United Nations was supposed to assure them. Misery, hunger and starvation will be the Christmas gift this year for many hundreds of thousands of persons.
All we can wish, therefore, on this Christmas Day here in the richly blessed United States of America, is that we may be conscious of all the blessings that are ours.
The children must have their jolly and rotund Santa Claus who fills their stockings and brings the presents from their families and friends to be found around the Christmas tree. The rest of us are apt, however, to be thinking of the religious significance of the Day, and the teachings of the Man of Sorrows, who came to earth so that we might better understand the needs and aspirations of His people everywhere.
In the city of New York, as in all our other cities and towns and villages, there has been little light and color at Christmas since the war began, but this year there it is a real wealth of Christmas decorations to remind us of the change that has come to the world.
All up Park Avenue great Christmas trees stand and as the evening falls, their lights blink and sparkle in the dusk. Under the arch in Washington Square, up in the courtyard of Radio City, outside almost every church and in innumerable homes, decorations, Christmas candles and the lights of many trees, shine out through unshaded windows.
This is the season when over and over again we will hear the message of the Angels repeated "Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men" May these words take root in our hearts so that we do not forget them as the season fades into the new year and we are going to need the Christmas spirit day in and day out during the future months, if we are to bring to the instruments now set up to build peace throughout the world, the spirit which alone can help us the people of the world, to translate their purpose into action.
Some may have read with the same sense of shame which swept over me the objections which the Indian delegates raised during the discussion of the site of the United Nations Organization in our country. They said it must not be in any place where all men, regardless of race or creed or color cannot be treated as equals.
Christ was born in Nazareth in the country of the Jews but He was born to serve all people. All the world must share in the faith and the hope and the love which He brought to the world.