President Obama says Americans of all faiths can unite around Christ's message of love and service.
The president spoke during the ceremonial lighting of the national Christmas tree in Washington, D.C. Thursday night.
He was joined by his family in the annual tradition held in a park located south of the White House.
Obama said that as a Christian, he takes to heart Christ's admonition to love God and your neighbor and that he believes it can unite people regardless of how they worship.
He also urged Americans to honor Christ's words by being generous during this Christmas season by helping those in need.
"In this season of hope, let's help those who need it most: the homeless, the hungry, the sick and shut-in," the president said.
"In this season of plenty, let's reach out to those who struggle to find work or provide for their families," he added.
The lighting ceremony, hosted by TV's Carson Daly, included performances of Christmas carols and tunes by pop group Big Time Rush, English singer Ellie Goulding, pop band OneRepublic, country singer Rodney Atkins, soul songstress Marsha Ambrosius and the Airmen of Note, a jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force.
The ceremony marks the 89th Christmas tree lighting. The tradition began with President Calvin Coolidge in 1923.