Donald Trump Tells Troops He's 'Still Working on a Christmas Present' For Melania Before Couple Attend Church Service

On Christmas Eve, President Donald Trump shared Christmas greetings with military service members deployed at stations around the world, including marines in Afghanistan, an army unit in Kuwait, a navy ship in the Gulf of Aden, an air force base in Missouri and a coast guard station in Alaska.

Speaking to troops via video conference from his private club in Florida, Trump said, "I want to wish you an amazing Christmas," and praised the armed forces for their efforts this year to eliminate the last of the Islamic State militant group's territorial caliphate and for killing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to AP.

He also spoke of the economic successes at home and a pay raise for troops in the new year. "You make it possible for us to do what we have to do," Trump said.

The president took questions from the troops, one of whom asked what Christmas gift Trump had given to first lady Melania Trump. He joked that he was "still working on a Christmas present" but said he got her a "beautiful card," AP reports. "You made me think. I'm going to have to start working on that real fast," he said.

The troops also invited the president to attend the homecoming of the USS Forrest Sherman when the destroyer returns to its home port in Norfolk, Virginia, next year.

Earlier this week, Melania Trump answered calls from several children across the country as part of North American Aerospace Defense Command's Operation NORAD Tracks Santa program. The children spoke about items from their Christmas wishlists.

The first lady was said to have "reminded the kids to put milk and cookies out for Santa, and wished each child and their families a very merry Christmas," according to press secretary Stephanie Grisham, AP reports.

President Donald Trump Melania Christmas Eve
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive for a Christmas Eve dinner with his family at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on December 24, 2019. Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

After his call with service members, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump attended a Christmas Eve church service in Florida before celebrating the holiday with dinner at his private club.

The couple were welcomed with applause and cheers as they arrived at the "Candlelight Christmas Celebration" event at Family Church, a Southern Baptist-affiliated church in West Palm Beach, where they were seated in the church's third pew, the Associated Press reported.

The service entailed brief sermons, readings and traditional Christmas songs, with "theatrical smoke" and "fake snow" descending from the rafters, according to AP.

Jimmy Scroggins, the pastor at Family Church, spoke about the birth of Jesus during the service. "There was no Secret Service. There was no motorcade. There was no gaggle of press," he said, the New York Post reported.

The Trumps have previously attended holiday services at Bethesda-by-the-Sea, the Episcopal Church in Palm Beach at which they were married in 2005.

donald trump melania white house christmas eve
Donald Trump Calls Troops Christmas Eve

Their church attendance was followed by a Christmas Eve dinner at Mar-a-Lago, the president's private club in Palm Beach, Florida, where the couple were greeted with applause upon arrival, according to the New York Post.

When asked by a reporter whether he prayed for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the president reportedly did not respond but said, "We're going to have a great year," according to AP.

The president was also spotted at the dinner speaking to Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and attorney, and prominent defender of Trump. Dershowitz is reportedly being considered to join the president's impeachment legal team, AP noted.