Good afternoon, and hope you're enjoying this rare day (mostly) off the grid. If you're one of the PMers who's working today, thank you. A special shout to the Axios readers serving America abroad. And hearty appreciation to all my Axios colleagues who make PM possible.
1 big thing: Since it's Christmas ...
... that means you haven't missed a lot of action. Even President Trump has largely stayed off Twitter today — except to tweet a Christmas video message with First Lady Melania Trump. It was Pope Francis who delivered the most substantial, and political, Christmas message of the day.
Here's how Trump and other leaders around the world celebrated:
- Trump in the video: "My fellow Americans, Melania and I are delighted to wish America and the entire world a very Merry Christmas." He said it was time to "renew the bonds of love and goodwill between our citizens."
- Melania Trump paid tribute to the troops and community volunteers — "and we pray for peace all over the world."
- Pope Francis used his Christmas address to call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: "Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached."
- Queen Elizabeth's Christmas speech praised London and Manchester for their handling of the terrorist attacks this year, per BBC.
- And the holiday greeting former President Obama used on Twitter? "Merry Christmas."
2. What (we hope) you missed
- The U.S. has cut its funding to the U.N. by $285 million for next year. What Nikki Haley said.
- ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed at least 10 people in Kabul, Afghanistan. What happened.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia would be willing to facilitate talks between the U.S. and North Korea. The back story.
- A provision of the new tax law could bring as much as $400 billion in corporate cash from overseas back into the U.S. How it would happen.
- The NBA is trying to compete with the NFL's Thanksgiving Day viewership with Christmas Day games. The odds.
- Analysts see slackening demand for Apple's iPhone X in 2018. The new prediction.
3. 1 hot thing
"Board games get messy with squirting toilets, soggy dogs," AP's Joseph Pisani reports:
- "Board games are getting messier as toy makers try to match the popularity of Pie Face, a game that flings whipped cream at faces. The latest entries, such as Toilet Trouble and Soggy Doggy, splash, spray or shake water onto players."
- "Another game, called Egged On, has players filling plastic eggs with water that are then cracked over a person's head.
- Why it matters: "Videos of players getting wet or smashed with whipped cream are popular on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram, and help to fuel sales.
- What's next: "More of these types of games will come next year."
Thanks for taking a break with us. Enjoy this night after all the crazy preparations, and see you in the AM.