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First lady gives kids a special thrill for Christmas

First dog Bo steals the show when he climbs into Michelle Obama's lap before the First Lady reads a Christmas story to children at a hospital. "This is exactly what he does at home –  he tries to beat Malia and Sasha to my lap," Obama said.


Kids anxious to learn when Santa would arrive got an update from a surprise guest this year when first lady Michelle Obama fielded their phone calls.

Gary Cameron / REUTERS

Michelle Obama reads "The Night Before Christmas" to children at the Children's National Medical Center with unsolicited help from First Dog Bo.

That was just part of the Christmas festivities for the first lady, who also read “'The Night Before Christmas’’ at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 15.

On Christmas Eve, Obama was patched in as one of the volunteers answering phone calls to the NORAD Santa-tracking operation at a Colorado Air Force Base. She added to the excitement and anticipation of Christmas for several children, including one persistent one from Fort Worth, Texas, who wanted her to come visit him.

A boy named Anthony was hoping that not only Santa could stop by his home, but also the first lady and possibly her husband, according to a report by Politico.

“Yeah, [Santa's] heading your way,’’ the first lady said. “He’s heading your way. But you know what, Santa doesn’t come until you’re fast asleep.  You do know that, right?”

“Yeah, I was talking about you trying to visit me,’’ Anthony replied.

“Oh, me come to visit you. Well, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to come and visit before Christmas tomorrow, but if ever I find myself in Texas next year – and I know I’m going to be coming to Texas one time next year – hopefully we can see each other then.  How does that sound?”

Anthony then asked Mrs. Obama if she would come to his house or his school.

“You’re at Fort Worth?’’ the first lady replied. “I was in Fort Worth last year.  So maybe we can come back.  But until then, I want you to have a merry Christmas, OK, Anthony?”

But Anthony was not done.

“Can I talk to your husband?” he asked.

“He’s not here right now,’’ Mrs. Obama said. “But you know what, I will tell him that you asked about him.  OK? All right.  You keep being a good kid.  Work hard in school, okay?”

“OK,’’ Anthony responded. “Tell your daughters I said Merry Christmas.’’

“I sure will,’’ she said. “Thank you so much.  You give your family my best, OK?  You give them all a Merry Christmas from all of the Obamas, OK?”

Anthony from Fort Worth was from one of several families who received a special greeting from the first lady, including the Thomas family of Winona, N.J.

“Look, this just made their whole, like, life,’’ Mrs. Thomas told her. “They’re pretty excited now if they weren’t already.’’

Gary Cameron / REUTERS

Young A.J. Murray's reactions were a highlight of the first lady's reading of "The Night Before Christmas."

“Well, it’s pretty exciting around here, too,’’ the first lady responded.

There was also plenty of excitement during her reading of “The Night Before Christmas’’ in Washington on Dec. 15, which was released on video by the White House on Christmas Eve. The first lady had barely taken her seat when Bo, the Obama family dog, hopped right into her lap.

“This is exactly what he does at home,’’ Mrs. Obama said. “He tries to beat Malia and Sasha to my lap.’’

With the pet she jokingly called “the big baby in the room’’ nestled in her lap, she then delivered a dramatic reading of the Christmas classic while flanked by her tiny escorts, A.J. Murray and Jordyn Akuoko, as well as Santa himself. The adorable reactions of Murray and Akuoko highlight her reading.


Michelle Obama reads "Twas' the Night Before Christmas'' at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 15 while joined by Bo, the Obama family's dog.

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