U.S. President Barack Obama enjoyed a quiet and low-key holiday this year with his family in Hawaii.
Obama arrived in Hawaii on Friday evening following an intense payroll tax standoff in Washington D.C. that many feared might have left the president stranded in the nation's capital for the holiday.
Upon his arrival to Hawaii, Obama took First Lady Michelle out to a favorite dining spot on the island of Oahu.
On Saturday, the Obamas enjoyed Christmas Eve out of the spotlight with family and close friends, including the president’s half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, at their rented multimillion-dollar vacation home on Kailua Beach, near Honolulu.
Obama is said to have also enjoyed a round of golf, a favorite pastime of the president, with old friends on his first day of vacation.
On Christmas Day, the First Family opened presents at around 8 a.m., attended church services, sang Christmas carols and visited troops at a Marine Corps base near their rented vacation home.
The President’s vacation was cut several days short due to the payroll tax cut debate that left him in Washington D.C. while his wife and two children traveled to his native Hawaii and awaited his arrival in uncertainty.
“We were all praying and praying, and asking Santa, and the tooth fairy, and every fairy they could think of,” Michelle joked after her husband's arrival to the island.
Obama, who was born and raised in Honolulu, is expected to stay in Hawaii until after the New Year playing golf and enjoying vacation activities with his family.
The Obamas are scheduled to return to Washington D.C. on Jan. 2.