Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry will host the annual “Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays” reception at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, December 17, in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the Department of State.

The holiday reception honors the families of U.S. government employees on assignment at unaccompanied posts around the world, who endure long periods of separation from their loved ones, even during the holidays.

This year, the program will include remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry, Under Secretary Patrick F. Kennedy, and Chief of Protocol Peter A. Selfridge.

During the event, children of U.S. diplomats serving unaccompanied tours will prepare care packages that include cards, gifts, confections, and other donated items for those serving abroad. Family members will also have the opportunity to take holiday photos that will be instantly sent to their loved ones posted overseas. Retired professional basketball players Dikembe Mutombo and Ruth Riley will also spend time with the families. This event is made possible through public-private partnerships.