-- President Donald Trump delivered a jubilant Christmas Eve message on Twitter, saying he’s “proud” people are wishing each other a “Merry Christmas.”
"People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again," Trump tweeted. "I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!"
Trump has bemoaned the use of more generic messages like "Happy Holidays" in the past, promising on the 2016 campaign trail that Americans would be “saying Merry Christmas again.”
“Today is a day that I've been looking very much forward to all year long,” the president said as he spoke at the 95th annual National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony last month. “It’s one that we've heard and we speak about and we dream about and now, as the president of the United States, it’s my tremendous honor to now wish America and the world a very Merry Christmas.”
Trump's predecessor, President Barack Obama, used the term "Merry Christmas" every year while he was in office.
The president is spending the holiday at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida estate, where the guests will be dining on an assortment of food for Christmas Eve dinner, including turkey, beef tenderloin, cornbread, creamy kale, popovers, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, various local vegetable dishes, a seafood display including local fish and shellfish, and a variety of desserts.
Earlier in the day, Trump and first lady Melania Trump participated in NORAD Santa Tracker phone calls, with the president speaking to six children and his wife talking to nine.
The president also took part in a Christmas Eve video teleconference with members of the military.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.