First Lady Michelle Obama Visits The Children’s National Medical Center


Speaker:
Boys and girls, children
of all ages, please welcome the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama along with Santa and Bo. (applause) Speaker:
Mrs. Obama is going to read a book to us at this point, but thank you again for being here. The First Lady:
Thank you. Thank you so much. Can everybody hear me? Children:
Yes. The First Lady:
Well, it’s good to be back. Last year I came I had
two additional guests. Malia and Sasha came with me. But they’re in school,
so they couldn’t come. But Bo got ready. He’s clean — (laughter)
— so when we’re finished, anybody who — Child:
And he’s groomed. Mrs. Obama:
And he’s groomed. Thank you, Gabriel. (laughter) He is groomed. So anybody who wants
to pet him when we’re done, we’ll walk him around, okay? And I don’t know if
you remember last year, but Bo barked at Santa. (laughter) But this year, Santa
and Bo have become fast friends. (laughter) Santa:
Absolutely. The First Lady:
So with that,
I’m going to read one story, and then I’ll be able to answer
any questions you guys have. This is a Christmas
classic. It’s a favorite. I read it earlier this week,
was it, at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, so I’m
going to read it to you guys. It’s “The Night
Before Christmas.” All right? You ready? Children:
Yes! The First Lady:
Oh, not you, Bo. (laughter) Oh, man,
he was doing so well. (laughter) Come here, Bo. Bo! All right, I’m
going to let him go. (laughter) Child:
Good boy. The First Lady:
He’s good. He’s good. He’ll be fine. Okay, we ready? Child:
Yes! (The First Lady reads)
‘Twas
the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings
were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St.
Nicholas soon would be there; First Lady:
Can you guys see? Child:
My teacher read that before. First Lady:
Hopefully I do as equally good job but don’t tell me if I don’t. (The First Lady reads)
The children were nestled
all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums
danced in their heads; And mamma in her
‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled down
for a long winter’s nap, First Lady:
They are sleeping. who do you think they are waiting for? Children:
Santa! First Lady:
I believe that true but lets see. Child:
They call him St. Nicholas. First Lady:
St. Nicholas yes they do call him that. (The First Lady reads)
When out on the lawn there
arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to
see what was the matter. Away to the window
I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters
and threw up the sash. Child:
Bo is in the story. First Lady:
Oh, that does look like Bo. It’s a Bo look alike. What do you think he heard? Why is he all in an uproar? Children:
Santa? First Lady:
Maybe so. (The First Lady reads)
The moon on the breast of the
new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to
objects below, When, what to my wondering eyes should
appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, First Lady:
He is coming. He is coming. Child:
My momma read it too. First Lady:
Your momma and your teacher a lot of people read this story. (The First Lady reads)
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in
a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles
his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted,
and called them by name; First Lady:
Can you all try to say the names with me? (The First Lady reads)
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!” First Lady:
Well, Gabriel asked about Rudolph. you know he didn’t make this story. (laughter) and I think — Rudolph was around in another Christmas. It was that stormy Christmas where it was a blizzard this was better weather. So they probably didn’t need him. Child:
Oh. (laughter) (The First Lady reads)
As dry leaves that before
the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an
obstacle, mount to the sky, So up to the house-top
the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of
toys, and St. Nicholas too. Child:
I want to go to you house. First Lady:
You want to come to my house? (laughter) Sounds good. We have got a lot of trees — Child:
And candy. First Lady:
And candy. Gabriel says toys and candy. Child:
(inaudible) First Lady:
We have all of that. (The First Lady reads)
And then, in a twinkling, I
heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my hand,
and was turning around, Down the chimney St.
Nicholas came with a bound. First Lady:
How do you think he fits in that chimney? How do you do it? Santa:
Hold your breath. Child:
You have to get close to it. Santa:
You have to get close to it to get into in true. First Lady:
That’s very good. (The First Lady reads)
He was dressed all in fur,
from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all
tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he
had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler
just opening his sack. Child:
And a grown up saw Santa. First Lady:
And a grown up —
Only grown ups see Santa. You do know that right? Child:
And children. First Lady:
Well that is on Christmas eve but you guys see him before then. (The First Lady reads)
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses,
his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth
was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin
was as white as the snow; First Lady:
How does it feel having us talk about you in third person? Santa:
(laughs) It’s a good thing. First Lady:
Good. (The First Lady reads)
The stump of a pipe he
held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled
his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a
little round belly, That shook, when he laughed like
a bowlful of jelly. Santa:
Ho,Ho,Ho (laughter) Child:
He has got his list with him. First Lady:
He has got his list with him and as he is looking over his list. And I’m sure he is looking to see who is naughty or nice. He is at that house going should I leave something? So where are you going to be on the naughty or nice list? Children:
Nice. First Lady:
That’s good, cause you see he is looking. He makes that call right there in the chair. (The First Lady reads)
He was chubby and plump,
a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw
him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and
a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I
had nothing to dread; First Lady:
So there is no need to be afraid of Santa right? Children:
Right. First Lady:
A man coming into you house at night Christmas eve. (laughter) Child:
Cause he is our friend. First Lady:
Cause he is our friend absolutely. (The First Lady reads)
He spoke not a word, but
went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings;
then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of
his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; First Lady:
He operates quickly. (The First Lady reads)
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And
away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim,
ere he drove out of sight, First Lady:
What did he say everybody? We can say this together. Ready 1-2-3. First Lady and Children:
“Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a good night.” (applause) Mr. Zechman:
Mrs. Obama? The First Lady:
Yes. Mr. Zechman:
Thank you so much. And I was told that you might
have a couple of minutes for a
couple questions? The First Lady:
Yes. Mr. Zechman:
So, boys and girls,
do you have some questions for the First Lady? Child:
Where’s Bo? The First Lady:
Where’s Bo? Where’s Bo? Bo is around. We’re going to bring
him out at the end. Okay, we have a question. Child:
What is your favorite Christmas tree in the White House? The First Lady :
Oh, that’s a
good question, sweetie. That’s a very good question. You know, there is — the
biggest Christmas tree that’s in the White House is in a
room called the Blue Room. And I don’t know if you guys
were watching TV, but that’s the tree that they bring in the day
after Thanksgiving with the horse-drawn wagon, and we have
to go outside and look at it and make sure it’s just right. Well, that tree this
year is decorated by some of the art students. So some art students decorated
it and they put ribbons on it that represent
each of the states. And the theme for this year
at the White House is “Simple Gifts.” Child:
The United States of America? The First Lady:
That very — those states, absolutely, those United States. But the theme this year is
“Simple Gifts” because what we’re trying to remember is that
Christmas can be celebrated with some of the most basic things. You don’t need a lot of money. You don’t always have to have
toys and lights and glitter. You can have ribbons and hay and
paper and recycled materials, and you can make
them look beautiful. So a lot of the ornaments are
made out of fresh dried fruits, and there are newspapers that
are folded in really interesting ways that look beautiful, and
they’re spray-painted; a lot of things that you can do
at home with your moms. So the big blue tree is
decorated by some of the students in that way. So it’s my — that’s
my favorite tree. Child:
What did you
get Bo for Christmas? The First Lady:
You know, I –Malia
and Sasha are actually responsible for shopping for Bo. And I don’t know what they’re
going to get him, but they’re probably going to get him some
toys, because he loses his toys. They’re everywhere. They’re all over the White
House, in the South Lawn. I mean, the dog is a mess. (laughter) He just leaves
his toys everywhere. And then he loses them and then
he’s got nothing to play with. So we probably need to
get him some more toys. All right? What do you think? Do you think we should get
him anything in particular? You got any ideas? Child:
A ball. Child:
A chewy. The First Lady:
A ball, a chewy. Okay, well, let’s keep it
down so he doesn’t hear. (laughter) We want it to
be a surprise, all right? Child:
What do you get the — what
are you going to get the President for Christmas? The First Lady:
Ooh. All right, look, look, the press
is all like — (laughter) — because — I’m not going to tell
you because it’s going to be in the paper tomorrow, and then
he’s going to read it, and then it won’t be a surprise. But first I have to see whether
he’s been naughty or nice. I’ve been trying
to figure that out. (laughter) What do you think I
should get the President? Child:
When you’re nice. The First Lady:
Only if he’s nice. Let’s assume he’s been nice. (laughter) What do you think? Any ideas? Any President gift ideas? Child:
What about a watch? Mrs. Obama:
A watch? Okay, that’s a suggestion. Any other ideas? Child:
A President bell. The First Lady:
A President bell? (laughter) How would that work? Child:
Well, first you
put it on the rooftop. The First Lady:
A rooftop
President’s bell. (laughter) All right,
we’ll think that through. (laughter) What about — what do you
think I should get him? Child:
You should
get him a new suit. (laughter) The First Lady:
Good idea. (laughter) The President
needs a new suit. (laughter) What do you think
I should get him? Child:
Candy! The First Lady:
Candy! (laughter) All right, let’s
take another question. Those are all
great ideas. Yes, sweetie. Child:
What did you ask
Santa for this year? The First Lady:
You know, I didn’t
ask for anything in particular. One of the biggest gifts I got
this year was — we got it this morning. We signed an important law that
helps make the school lunches more healthy. (applause.) Yay. (applause.) And that was
my big Christmas wish. I was talking to Santa,
“Oh, please, Santa, And he did.
So I got my gift early. Yes, sweetie. Child:
What does your
family do on Christmas? The First Lady:
What we do every
year since the girls have been born, except for maybe
one year, we go to Hawaii. And that’s where the President
is from, so his family is there. And because Hawaii is so far
away, we often don’t — we don’t — only get to go
there once a year. And you need a little time when
you go to Hawaii because it’s a long flight. Child:
But you can go to Disney. The First Lady:
Well, Hawaii is not
in Disney — Disney is not in Hawaii, although the
girls would like that. But it’s on the way. It’s in California. But we don’t do that. And let’s not talk about that
because we don’t want that to be an idea for the kids. (laughter) But when we go there, we really
just spend time with family. And we have a lot of fun
traditions and places that we like to go — and
going to the zoo. Even though the kids are getting
older, they still like to do the same things over and over again
— going to the zoo, going to get shaved ice,
swimming in the ocean. And we have a lot of friends and
family with us, so we go with a lot of people. So there are a lot of kids in
one house, and everybody is noisy, and it’s just fun. Yes, what — yes. Child:
How many chimneys are
there in the White House? And which one does Santa go in? The First Lady:
Oh, wow. You know, I don’t know how many
chimneys there are because there’s a fireplace in almost
every room in the White House. And I think that’s because it
was built in a time where big older homes were
heated by fireplaces. So if you were going to be warm
in a room, and these rooms are big with high ceilings, you
had to have a fireplace. Now, I’ve explained to Sasha
that Santa will come down the chimney in the Yellow Oval Room
because that’s where the biggest tree in our house is. So the expectation is that
Santa will use that chimney. But you never know. I mean, you know, you don’t
know what you’re going to do. Sometimes you’ve
got to change it up. Child:
Don’t get burned. The First Lady:
So you won’t —
and you won’t get burned. (laughter) We will make
sure the fires are out. Santa:
Yes, put the fires out. (laughter) The First Lady:
That’s a good —
that’s a good thing, that’s a good thing. We will see to it. Thank you for that reminder. Santa appreciates it. Where is the mic? Child:
Can I — The First Lady:
Is it you again? (laughter) More questions.
We’ve got hands here. Let’s make sure we get
the mic over there. I lost the mic. The mic ladies. Child:
He’s raising
a hand over there. The First Lady:
Okay, we’ll get
— we’ve got them back there. Child:
You know what, maybe you
should get Barack Obama a new hot tub. (laughter) The First Lady:
You think
he’s got an old hot tub? (laughter) All right, that’s
another recommendation. (laughter) We’ve got a watch, a
new suit, candy and a hot tub! (laughter) Got it. Yes. Child:
Maybe you should
get him his own ornament. The First Lady:
His own ornament! Well, what would it look like? What do you think? Child:
Blue. The First Lady:
What do you
think we’d do with it? What would we put it on his — Child:
Hang it on
the Christmas tree. The First Lady:
What should it look like? Should it have colors? Child:
All blue. The First Lady:
All blue? You know what, an idea — that
would be nice for you to make him an ornament and send it to
the White House with your name on it. Child:
I want purple. The First Lady:
And purple, yes. Purple or blue — Child:
And gold, too. The First Lady:
And gold, too, yes, yes. Well, that’s a great idea. All right, we have a
hand right here up front. Oh, wait, okay, we’ll
go there and then — Child:
What’s your favorite
thing to eat for breakfast on Christmas morning? The First Lady:
Oh, wow,
that’s a good question. Child:
I usually eat Honey Nut Cherrioes for breakfast. The First Lady:
Okay, we’re not going to
do any advertisements– (laughter) but that is a
healthy breakfast, it is. Child:
What about some cookies? The First Lady:
I don’t usually eat
cookies for breakfast. You know, I don’t know. I try to eat a light breakfast,
because Christmas dinner is big, right, and I want to
save room for Santa. Santa — yes, Santa probably
doesn’t eat breakfast on Christmas because he’s
had all those cookies. Santa:
Very full on cookies. The First Lady:
So he probably takes it light. Speaker:
We have one more question. The First Lady:
Okay. Child:
How is it living
in the White House? The First Lady:
How is it living in
the White — it’s nice, it’s very cool. Child:
Does it
have a red carpet? The First Lady:
There are red
carpets in the White House. There actually are
some red carpets. But the most fun thing about
living in the White House — and we say this all the time
— it’s the People’s House. And we live in a house
that’s like a museum. There’s a part of the house
that’s a home, and it doesn’t feel like a museum, but the rest
of it is open to anybody in the world who wants to come and see. And there’s so much history. Barack Obama is the 44th
President of the United States. That means that 43 other
families have lived there and created memories, and
they’ve created history. And all that stuff is all on the
walls, from the furniture to the pictures, to the carpets. And you can learn
about that when you go. So I hope that each of you guys
at some point in your lives, in your young lives, you come
and visit the White House. It’s particularly fun at
Christmas because it’s all decorated.
There are 19 trees. But even when it’s not
Christmas, there’s always a special place to visit. So hopefully all of you will ask
your families to bring you to come see us at the White House. All right? You guys, they’re a
very bright crew here. (laughter) Mr. Zechman:
Those were great questions. I assume some of them are going
to end up on that back podium some day. (laughter) So Mrs. Obama, I want to thank
you again for taking time out of your busy schedule
to be with us. (applause) The First Lady:
Oh, my pleasure. (applause) Mr. Zechman:
I want to thank
our musicians who are going to sing “We Wish You A Merry
Christmas” in just a second. The First Lady:
Nice. Mr. Zechman:
Thank you again,
and Merry Christmas and God bless to you and your family. The First Lady:
Thank you. I’ll walk around with Bo. ♪ Music playing ♪

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