Obama: Honor Christmas by Helping Those in Need

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(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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HONOLULU — President Barack Obama is encouraging Americans to embrace the spirit of Christmas by volunteering at a soup kitchen, buying gifts for kids in need, or organizing food and clothing drives.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says the values Jesus taught can spur Americans of all faiths to be better parents, friends, neighbors and citizens.

First lady Michelle Obama says the nation should show gratitude by supporting military members and their families.

The Obamas recorded the Christmas message in Washington before leaving Friday for their annual vacation in Hawaii.

In the Republican address, Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho says America’s most prized gifts include freedom and worship. He’s thanking the military for defending American freedoms.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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