Barack Obama photo

The President's Weekly Address

December 24, 2016

The President. Merry Christmas, everybody! One of the best parts of the holiday season is spending time with the special people in your life. And for me, that means getting some help from my best friend for our annual Christmas Weekly Address.

The First Lady. Now, given how our first Christmas Weekly Address went, I realize that Barack needed all the help he could get. [Laughter]

[At this point, an outtake from the President's December 24, 2009, Weekly Address recording was shown, in which the First Lady spoke as follows.]

The First Lady. This is our first Christmas in the White House, and we——

[In the outtake, the President began to laugh.]

The First Lady. What? Stop. What? You know—what? You've got to stop it. All right?

[The President continued to laugh.]

The First Lady. You've got to get it together. You're going to have to pull it together, POTUS.

[The outtake concluded, and the First Lady spoke as follows.]

The First Lady. [Laughter] Celebrating the holidays in the White House over these past 8 years has been a true privilege. We've been able to welcome over half a million guests. Our outstanding pastry chefs have baked 200,000 holiday cookies——

The President. That's a lot of cookies.

The First Lady. ——and Barack has treated the American people to countless dad jokes.

The President. They're great jokes.

The First Lady. Not so funny.

The President. Although a few got a "Frosty" reception.

The First Lady. The last one.

The President. Ha-ha-ha.

The First Lady. This year's White House holiday theme is "The Gift of the Holidays," and our decorations reflect some of our greatest gifts as a nation: from our incredible military families to the life-changing impact of a great education.

The President. And the greatest gift that Michelle and I have received over the last 8 years has been the honor of serving as your President and First Lady. Together, we fought our way back from the worst recession in 80 years and got unemployment to a 9-year low. We secured health insurance for another twenty 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 together in the years to come. 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 Savior. And as we retell His story from that Holy Night, we'll also remember His eternal message, one of boundless love, compassion, and hope.

The First Lady. 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, feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, no matter where they come from or how they practice their faith.

The President. Those are values that help guide not just my family's Christian faith, but that of Jewish Americans and Muslim Americans, nonbelievers and Americans of all backgrounds. And no one better embodies that spirit of service than the men and women who wear our country's uniform and their families.

The First Lady. As always, many of our troops are far from home this time of the year, and their families are serving and sacrificing right along with them. Their courage and dedication allow the rest of us to enjoy this season. That's why we've tried to serve them as well as they've served this country. Go to to see how you can honor and support the servicemembers, veterans, and military families in your community, not just during the holidays, but all year round.

The President. So as we look forward to the new year, let's resolve to recommit ourselves to the values we share. And on behalf of the all the Obamas—Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Bo, and that troublemaker Sunny—Merry Christmas, everybody.

The First Lady. And we wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2017. Thanks and God bless.

NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 4:25 p.m. on December 16 in the Map Room at the White House for broadcast on December 24. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on December 23, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on 24. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of this address.

Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives