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Obama: Honor Christmas by helping those in need

10:57 AM, Dec 25, 2013   |    comments
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HONOLULU, HI - DECEMBER 21: President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama disembark Air Force One at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for their winter vacation on December 21, 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The president and his family spend the Christmas holiday in Hawaii, Obama's birthplace. (Photo by Cory Lum - Pool/Getty Images)

HONOLULU (AP) - President Barack Obama is encouraging Americans to embrace the spirit of Christmas by volunteering at a soup kitchen, buying gifts for kids in need, or organizing food and clothing drives.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says the values Jesus taught can spur Americans of all faiths to be better parents, friends, neighbors and citizens.

First lady Michelle Obama says the nation should show gratitude by supporting military members and their families.

The Obamas recorded the Christmas message in Washington before leaving Friday for their annual vacation in Hawaii.

In the Republican address, Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho says America's most prized gifts include freedom and worship. He's thanking the military for defending American freedoms.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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