President Barack Obama might get what he wants for Christmas — workout clothes — but he “messed it up” by granting daughter Malia’s wish early and getting her a cellphone, first lady Michelle Obama said Monday.
During a visit to a children’s hospital, the first lady proved that her husband is not the only Obama who can carry a tune. After a boy asked her favorite holiday song, she started singing, “Chestnuts roasting on an open —” then stopped and joked: “Oh, I forgot the press was here.”
The words are from “The Christmas Song,” popularized by Nat King Cole.
About 60 young patients, some in wheelchairs, turned out with parents and medical professionals to hear the first lady read “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” and field questions at the event.
Michelle Obama said daughters Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, are allowed to ask for three things at Christmas, and usually they stick to that, but she gave no hint of what they’ll find under the tree. She said the president should have held off on letting Malia get a cellphone so it could’ve been one of her presents.
Family dogs Bo and Sunny, who accompanied her to the National Children’s Hospital System, will get chew toys, she said.
She noted the president and Sasha did most of the work finishing up the tree trimming in the Yellow Oval Room in the family’s quarters, while she and Malia enjoyed hot chocolate. “This year, I have to say, the president actually put most of the ornaments on the tree because he says I’m bossy,” she said. “So I just sat back and let them do it.”
When asked the best gift she ever got, she said as a child she loved Barbie dolls. “I had everything Barbie … the townhouse and the car and all the little outfits and the shoes that never stayed on their feet,” she said.
Growing up in “snowy” Chicago, she said she used to think Santa and his reindeer needed snow in order to land, but now that she’s older she finds snow a hassle. The family departs Friday for its annual holiday vacation in Hawaii.
Former first lady Bess Truman began the custom of the president’s wife making Christmastime visits to hospitalized children back in the 1950s.