On Friday, an ad was released by a pro-Trump political action committee that evidently unsettled some people on social media. The ad, by America First Policies, is reportedly slated to run on Christmas Day, but it's already been released online. And it concludes with a pretty distinct message, featuring a little girl thanking Trump for saying "Merry Christmas."
It's not strictly about the Christmas holiday, to be clear. The ad runs 33 seconds in length, showing people speaking to the camera, thanking the president for an array of reasons: for "putting America first," for "cutting my taxes," for "inviting us to stand for our national anthem," and other reasons.
The video ends with a young girl, who echoes one of Trump's most frequent, favorite claims. "Thank you for letting us say Merry Christmas again," she says, with the faint strains of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" playing in the background.
For the record, former president Barack Obama said the words "Merry Christmas" every holiday season, in addition to greetings for other seasonal holidays. Trump has long insisted that isn't the case, however, parroting claims of a "War on Christmas" that were popularized for years by Fox News, particularly former host Bill O'Reilly.
The belief ― or implication, at the very least ― that former president Barack Obama refused to say the words Merry Christmas, or somehow presided over a country in which people weren't allowed to do so, is essentially an utter myth, one that's proven popular with some on the American right. It's worth noting, as Trump has repeatedly and aggressively made this case, that he has a long history of engaging in anti-Obama conspiracy theories, primarily that the former president was not born in the United States, and was therefore an illegitimate commander-in-chief.
Trump finally acknowledged that Obama was a U.S. citizen in an awkward announcement in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential race. He offered no apology, however, and instead claimed credit for having "finished" the conspiracy theory, and blamed it on Hillary Clinton.
Trump's continuing insistence that he's somehow brought Christmas back in style has, at the very least, gotten him some attention and press coverage. Following a rally in Pensacola, Florida earlier this month, which doubled as a call for Alabamans to vote for the since-defeated Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, the fact that he referenced Christmas drew headlines. Despite, once again, the fact that a president wishing people a Merry Christmas ― as well as acknowledging other seasonal holidays ― is in no sense unique or noteworthy.