President Bush says more Americans should volunteer in their communities during this holiday season. The president's weekly radio address was a Christmas message that included thanks for members of the military serving overseas.

President Bush says all Americans share a responsibility to help those less fortunate in their communities - people struggling with illness or drug addiction or homelessness or gang violence.

He said people should look for opportunities to volunteer where the need is greatest to make the country a "more just and generous place" by reaching out to a neighbor in need.

During the holiday season, Mr. Bush said the nation continues to pray for the thousands of families grieving over loved ones lost in last year's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

He says Americans are grateful for the men and women in the U.S. military who will spend Christmas at posts far from home. "They stand between Americans and grave danger," said President Bush. "They serve in the cause of peace and freedom. They wear the uniform proudly, and we are so proud of them. I have met with these idealistic young men and women across America and around the world. I know the sacrifices they make and in every place they serve, they can know that they have the love of their families and the gratitude of their nation."

Christians celebrate the day when they believe the son of God was born in Bethlehem. Mr. Bush says the Christmas story continues to inspire people around the world with the blessing of what he called "a quiet birth in a little town on the margins of an indifferent empire." "For over two millennia, Christmas has carried the message that God is with us, and because he is with us we can always live in hope," he said. "The world we live in is very different from the world of ancient Bethlehem. Our need for that hope is still unchanged. In all the challenges and dangers of our day, we still seek the promise of peace on Earth."

Mr. and Mrs. Bush will spend Christmas at the presidential retreat at Camp David before leaving for their Texas ranch to celebrate the new year.