Obama Christmas Card Released: First Family Celebrates Holidays [PHOTOS]

 
on December 17 2011 3:43 PM
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The First Family has released a holiday family portrait and an official White House Christmas card just in time for the close of 2011, part of a string of holiday appearances by the Obamas that included attending the lighting of the National Christmas Tree on Dec. 1.

President Obama, wife Michelle and daughters Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10, were all smiles for their family portrait, which they released via Twitter.

Though Obama has been in the White House for three years now, this is only the second family portrait released at Christmas.

His first year in office, President Obama was snapped by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz, a press event surrounded by media fanfare.

In 2011, following economic upsets and lower approval ratings, the First Family opted for a more relaxed Christmas portrait shot by official White House photographer Pete Souza.

Though family dog Bo is missing from the Obama family portrait, the White House Christmas card, following tradition by having the First Family absent, features him prominently.

Replicas of Bo, meanwhile, are said to be sprinkled throughout nearly every room in the Oval Office for Christmas 2011, from life-sized models in felt to marzipan miniatures of the First Pooch.

Below, see the Obama family's holiday portraits from 2009 and 2011, the official White House Christmas card, and the First Family celebrating the holidays in Washington, D.C.

From the annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree to Sasha and Malia greeting holiday elves, see how the First Family has grown and changed since coming to the White House.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, from the Obama family to yours.

Obama Christmas Portrait, 2011

The First Family poses for their 2011 Christmas-themed portrait, the family's second since President Obama came to the White House. White House

Obama Christmas Portrait, 2009

What a difference only a few years make! Sasha, now 10, and Malia, now 13, are all grown up. White House

White House Christmas Card, 2011

Though family dog Bo was missing from the Obama family's holiday portrait, he is featured prominently in the First Family's 2011 Christmas Card. The Portuguese is painted snoozing by the fire near a table laden with gifts in a drawing by Mark Matuszak. White House

Obamas at National Christmas Tree Lighting

President Obama and daughters Sasha (L) and Malia at the 2011 lighting of the National Christmas Tree, a Dec. 1 event featuring cameos from Kermit the Frog, Carson Daly, OneRepublic and others Reuters

Christmas in Washington, D.C.

Though Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia are headed to Hawaii for Christmas without the president, the First Family celebrated the holidays early at the star-studded "Christmas in Washington" concert in D.C.'s National Building Museum. Reuters

National Christmas Tree 2011

National Christmas Tree Reuters

Michele Obama Donates 800 Toys and Gifts

Michele Obama has certainly gotten into the holiday spirit. The First Lady gave 800 gifts from White House staff to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign this Friday. She also got asked to next year's Marine Corps Ball by Lance Cpl. Aaron Leeks, 20, who admires her work to support the military... and said she'd love to go! Reuters

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