President Obama and first lady Michelle on December 24, 2016, delivered their final Christmas message from the White House as Mr. Obama prepares to handover his office to the President-elect Donald Trump.
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama delivered their final holiday greeting from the White House on Saturday in a video that was part nostalgia, a laundry list of accomplishments and a wish for a joyous holiday for U.S. families.
The nearly five-minute greeting began with a flashback to their first joint holiday address in 2009, which prompted laughs from the president. The pre-taped video continued a tradition of annual good wishes from Hawaii, where the Obamas are spending Christmas.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 24, 2016
Under this year’s White House theme, “The Gift of the Holidays,” the Obamas also thanked U.S. troops for their service.
“The greatest gift that Michelle and I have received over the last eight years has been the honor of serving as your president and first lady,” the president said. “Together, we fought our way back from the worst recession in 80 years and got unemployment to a nine-year low.
We secured health insurance for another 20 million Americans and new protections for folks who already had insurance. We made America more respected around the world, took on the mantle of leadership in the fight to protect this planet for our kids, and much, much more.
“By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we first got here. And I’m hopeful we’ll build on the progress we’ve made in the years to come.”
They also highlighted their Christian faith, and how that relates to better serving people of different economic and religious backgrounds.
“Tomorrow, for the final time as the First Family, we will join our fellow Christians around the world to rejoice in the birth of our Saviour,” Mr. Obama said. “And as we retell His story from that Holy Night, we’ll also remember His eternal message – one of boundless love, compassion, and hope.”
Mrs Obama elaborated: “The idea that we are our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper; that we should treat others as we would want to be treated; that we care for the sick and feed the hungry; welcome the stranger, no matter where they come from or how they practise their faith.”
And the Obamas gave thanks for the two terms spent in the White House.
“The greatest gift that Michelle and I have received over the last eight years,” Mr. Obama said, “has been the honor of serving as your President and First Lady.”