Barack and Michelle Obama celebrate American values, troops on Christmas

President Obama hosts the National Christmas Tree Lighting and Pageant of Peace ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington December 3, 2015.

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

As President Obama knows, not even the commander-in-chief gets the night off on Christmas.

"This is one of our favorite times of the year in the Obama household, filled with family and friends, warmth and good cheer. That's even true when I spend all night chasing Bo and Sunny away from the cookies we leave for Santa," he says in the opening of his Christmas address, accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama.

"Today, like millions of Americans and Christians around the world, our family celebrates the birth of Jesus and the values He lived in his own life. Treating one another with love and compassion. Caring for those on society's margins: the sick and the hungry, the poor and the persecuted, the stranger in need of shelter - or simply an act of kindness." The president said. "That's the spirit that binds us together - not just as Christians, but as Americans of all faiths."

Michelle Obama said that as we "sing carols and open presents" and "as we win snowball fights" -- to which the president interjected, "or lose snowball fights" - Americans should remember to thank members of the military.

"Go to JoiningForces.gov to see how you can serve the troops, veterans, and military families in your community. And together, we can show them just how grateful we are for their sacrifice," she said.

The Obamas are spending Christmas in Hawaii, where Mr. Obama spent part of his childhood. It's been an annual tradition since he was first elected. Earlier this week, the White released the Spotify holiday playlist for both the Obamas and the Bidens.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.