December 26, 2011 / 2:39 AM / 6 years ago

Obamas go to church, dine in for Christmas in Hawaii

HONOLULU, Hawaii (Reuters) - President Barack Obama spent a low-key Christmas Day with his wife and daughters in Hawaii, going to church and thanking U.S. troops for their service before hosting friends for dinner at the first family’s rented beach house.

The Obamas started opening gifts around 8 a.m. on Sunday and then ate breakfast and sang carols together before heading to the chapel at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii for a Christmas service, the White House said.

Far from Washington officialdom, and making the most of a bright, warm day, Obama dressed casually in a polo shirt and khaki pants to church and Michelle and their daughters Sasha and Malia wore summer dresses.

After a few hours back at their multi-million-dollar temporary home, the president and Michelle Obama returned to the base to shake hands, hold babies and pose for pictures with hundreds of sailors and marines stationed there.

“In the evening, the First Family and friends will celebrate with a Christmas dinner at home,” a White House official said. Sam Kass, the White House chef, is spending the holidays with the Obamas and was expected to do the cooking.

Reporting By Travis Quezon; Writing by Laura MacInnis; Editing by Todd Eastham

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