President Bush is spending a quiet Christmas with his family at Camp David, the presidential retreat in the mountains outside Washington. In a brief Christmas radio address to the nation, Mr. Bush talks about the unique nature of this particular holiday season.

The President says on this Christmas, America is a nation of mixed emotions. He says the joy of the season is combined with a lingering sense of loss. Mr. Bush said, "This is a day on which we give thanks for the wonder of God's love, for the blessings we have received, and for the families we love. And this year, all of these things seem particularly important."

Mr. Bush says Christmas 2001 occurs at a time of conflict and challenge. He says this holiday season finds many families facing hurt and loss -especially the families of terror victims and Americans killed in battle. "America grieves with you," he said, "and we hope you'll especially find the comfort and hope of Christmas."

In his Christmas address, the president also speaks of the U.S. forces now deployed in the war on terrorism, and the sacrifices they are making for America. "We're especially grateful to all the men and women of our military, many of whom are today separated from their loved ones because they're serving our country," he continued.

On Christmas Eve, President Bush called nine men and women serving in the U.S. military. A White House spokesman said he wanted to offer his thanks, and pass along his best wishes to the soldiers, sailors and airmen who are helping fight the war against terrorism.