Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani


Mayor's WINS Address
Christmas Day, 1996

Good morning, and Merry Christmas.

Today, throughout the world, people everywhere are celebrating Christmas. And here in New York, Christmas is especially significant, because the holiday season is really the very best time of year in our city. And in fact, according to an exhibition put on by the New York Historical Society, many of our Christmas traditions actually originated in New York City, right in Chelsea, where Clement Clarke Moore lived and wrote his wonderful poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," back in 1822.

That poem began, " 'Twas the night before Christmas," and to a large degree the modern view of Christmas was established in those 28 rhyming couplets, from "stockings hung by the chimney with care," to St. Nick's rooftop arrival in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.

and to this day, New York still celebrates Christmas like no other city.

The store windows are decorated, the Christmas shows are playing, and at Rockefeller Center ice skaters twirl beneath the twinkling lights of the world's most famous Christmas tree.

During this season, the joy, the warmth and the excitement of our city is a beacon of holiday spirit and good cheer to people throughout the world.

And each year millions of visitors come to New York to share this very special time with our city and our citizens. Although, today is Christmas, in the last two weeks at City Hall we have held celebrations for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

And part of the beauty of the holidays in our city is having the opportunity not only to celebrate and practice our own traditions, but to learn about, honor and appreciate the many different traditions that have found a home in these five boroughs.

I guess what really makes the holidays so special in New York is New Yorkers. Because New Yorkers practice the holiday ideals of tolerance and inclusion, of caring and compassion, and of warmth and love all year round. In many different languages, in many different religions and in many different cultural and ethnic traditions, all New Yorkers join together to share the joys of the holidays...

... the love of our families and friends, mutual respect and appreciation for each other, and our appreciation to God for our blessings and our lives.

From Gracie Mansion, this is Mayor Rudy Giuliani wishing you and yours a very, merry Christmas.

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