REDIT: PETE SOUZA/THE WHITE HOUSE VIA GETTY
In a tweet posted by Mrs. Obama, the former first lady shared a photo of the family dogs — Bo and Sunny, both wearing Santa hats — along with a message of good tidings.
“Wishing you light, love, and wonder during this holiday season,” Mrs. Obama, 56, wrote. “May the coming year bring us all joy and peace.”
In his own Christmas message, the 44th president alluded to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, noting that this holiday is altogether different than those of years’ past. Still, he encouraged everyone to celebrate the season of giving.
“This Christmas looks different for all of us. As we spend time with those we love—in person or virtually—let us celebrate the blessings we cherish, embrace the spirit of giving, and look out for one another,” Mr. Obama, 59, wrote. “From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!”
Along with his message, Mr. Obama shared a photo of a holiday card that read: “Wishing you and yours a joyous and peaceful holiday season.” The card is signed by all members of the Obama family, including both family dogs.
The couple is spending the holiday in Hawaii, and was photographed earlier this week kayaking in the ocean.
Like many Americans, the past year has been a time of personal growth for the Obamas, who have been spending increased time at home with their daughters, 22-year-old Malia and 19-year-old Sasha, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Mr. Obama, the quality time has led to a deepened relationship between his daughters.
“Like a lot of families who are lucky enough not to have to worry about losing a job, or a family member getting sick, there are times where it’s felt claustrophobic, I’m sure, for them,” he said of his girls in a November interview for a PEOPLE cover story.
“I think part of what’s been also wonderful is seeing Malia and Sasha become such great friends,” he continued, adding that they’ve matured as they’ve gotten older. “Now they’re both old enough, where they just enjoy each other’s company and to be together as a family and see how they’ve become these marvelous young women — there’s been no greater joy than that.”
Of course, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, with Mrs. Obama joking to Conan O’Brien in September that the family had started to get on each other’s nerves during the pandemic.
“I think first our kids got a little sick of us … which was fine, ’cause we were pretty much sick of them,” she said. “And so the summer started happening, and then we could be outside a little bit more … And now the kids are back in Zoom land with classes. They’re doing it remotely. And they’re no longer thrilled about being with us.”
″Over the course of this quarantine, I have knitted a blanket, like five scarves, three halter tops, a couple of hats for Barack, and I just finished my first pair of mittens for Malia,” she said. “One is twice as big as the other. I’m still working on my stitching gauge.″
Mr. and Mrs. Obama also found the time and space for a proper date — even in their quarantine bubble — with the former first lady telling Ray that her husband had surprised her with a beach picnic during the pandemic.
“So he had a lunch pack. He didn’t do it, but he had it packed,” she said, “and we had wine and a little jazz and we had our two little beach chairs and an umbrella and we were just hanging out on the beach alone.”
It’s also been a year of successes for the family, with the former president releasing his record-breaking memoir, A Promised Land, in November.
The book sold some 1.7 million copies in its first week, putting it on track to become the best-selling presidential memoir of all time.
Earlier this month, Mr. Obama confessed that his daughters are involved in the curation of his annual lists.
“My year-end playlist, those are the fresh cuts. And there, I will confess that I do consult with Malia and Sasha throughout the year,” Mr. Obama told Peter Hamby, host of the Snap original show Good Luck America. “I’m constantly listening to their music. Sometimes by request and sometimes, just because that’s what’s blaring in the house.”