Obamas arrive in Hawaii for Christmas

The First Family will spend their holiday vacation in the beach town of Kailua.

KAILUA, Hawaii — President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama wished Americans a Merry Christmas and happy holidays as their family arrived in Honolulu to spend their festivities where he was born and raised.

In the president's weekly radio and Internet address, he said the U.S. should give thanks for veterans and their families and asked Americans to "say a prayer for all our troops" — including those spending the holiday in Afghanistan.

Air Force One touched down in Honolulu minutes after midnight local time on Saturday. The first family departed the plane and traveled quickly to their vacation house in the beach town of Kailua, a scenic, sleepy beach town on the east side of Oahu.

Kailua is roughly 12 miles from downtown Honolulu. Obama's vacation house sits near a Marine base, on the north end of a beach popular among windsurfers and paddle surfers.

As the president and his family departed Air Force One, Obama had shed the jacket he was wearing when he left Washington and was in a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up.

White House officials say the president's vacation itinerary doesn't include any scheduled public events.

No return date has been given by the White House. Obama himself said earlier Friday that since a deal hasn't been reached in Congress on legislation to prevent tax increases and expiration of long-term unemployment benefits he would be returning to Washington after Christmas.

In the Republican address, House Speaker John Boehner urged Democrats to work with Republicans in Congress on spending cuts and tax reforms. He says, "Hope springs eternal."


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