President Bush is spending a quiet Christmas with his family in the mountains of western Maryland. They are celebrating the holiday at Camp David, the U.S. presidential retreat.
President Bush is said to be relaxing on this holiday, far from the spotlight in the isolation of Camp David. The president and the first lady will remain there until Friday, when they will head to their Texas ranch for about a week, to welcome the new year.
Their college-aged twin daughters have joined them for Christmas, as have his parents, former President George Bush and Barbara Bush.
Before leaving the White House, Mr. Bush issued his Christmas message to the nation. In it, he urged all Americans to rededicate themselves to helping those in need. He also asked them to pray for the men and women of the U.S. military, many of whom are spending the holiday season far from home.
White House aides say there will be no broadcast Christmas message this year. They say the president will talk about the meaning of the season this Saturday in his weekly radio address.