U.S. President Barack Obama is spending this Christmas with his family in Hawaii.
No public events are planned while the president is on vacation, although he is receiving daily briefings. The president also is expected to spend time going over drafts of next year’s State of the Union address that he will deliver to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. The White House says the president is reading a book about former president Ronald Reagan.
The president left Washington late Wednesday to join his family in Hawaii after scoring several legislative victories. They included the Senate’s ratification of a new START treaty with Russia and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the policy concerning gays serving openly in the U.S. military.
On Friday, first lady Michelle Obama surprised children by answering calls for the “Tracking Santa” program, a Christmas tradition run by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD. The first lady was able to tell children Santa’s whereabouts with help from NORAD’s Santa Route Schedule.
On Christmas Day, the first family is expected to dine on a meal of steak, roasted tomatoes, green beans and pie.
The Obamas are expected to return to Washington January 2.
Last year, the president’s holiday was disrupted by the attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner headed to Detroit from Amsterdam.