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Clinton’s Christmas Eve: Church, Shopping and Church

December 25, 1995

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Among the last-minute shoppers this Christmas Eve were President Clinton and his daughter Chelsea.

After attending a Sunday morning church service with Mrs. Clinton, father and daughter braved crowded downtown shopping centers to be greeted with applause and occasional shouts of ``Merry Christmas.″

But with 260,000 federal employees on furlough from a partial government shutdown, some shoppers at Washington’s bustling Union Station were a little glum.

``I wish he would put my sister back to work,″ said Anthoney Williams, 30, whose sister works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. ``It’s great that he can shop for Christmas presents. But how about those on furlough?″

The partial shutdown entered its ninth day Sunday, a record, and was certain to go on for days more because of a Christmas break that will keep most lawmakers out of town until Wednesday.

After window shopping, Clinton entered his first store of the outing: the PGA Tour Shop, a golfing equipment store where he bought two books about one of his favorite hobbies.

``I asked him how he was playing,″ said general manager Mike Wolf. ``And he said not as well as he would like because he doesn’t have a chance to get out as often as he’d like to.″

One of the books Clinton bought was titled ``Buried Lies: True Tales and Tall Stories from the PGA Tour″ by Peter Jacobsen, Wolf said.

After stops at a pottery store and jewelry stand, the Clintons finished their shopping at the posh Georgetown Park mall before heading to the home of lobbyist Vernon Jordan, a longtime family friend.

The first family capped their Christmas Eve with a midnight service at the Washington National Cathedral.

``Trust each other,″ the Rev. Nathan D. Baxter told the congregation. ``And in doing so, the world will be a better place.″