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Michelle Obama: Hawaii is first family’s favorite holiday tradition

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    First lady Michelle Obama sits with Stephen Orzechowski, 5, and reads “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to a group of children at the Childrens National Health System in Washington today.

WASHINGTON >> Michelle Obama is marking the days off the calendar for her favorite holiday tradition: traveling with family and friends to Hawaii.

The first lady said the family trip to President Barack Obama’s home state dates back more than two decades.

She said the two-week vacation also includes an annual talent show with their large group of loved ones that has included poetry, music and dog tricks.

“Because it’s such an important tradition, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world,” she said.

Mrs. Obama shared her holiday plans today as she continued a first lady tradition of visiting with hospitalized children. She was joined by family dogs Bo and Sunny as she read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to patients at Children’s National Health System.

The visit also included a question-and-answer session with the youngsters. When asked if the family pups have been naughty or nice this year, Mrs. Obama said Sunny— the younger Portuguese water dog who joined the family in 2013— can sometimes be naughty when she sneaks away to use the bathroom randomly about the White House.

“We’re dealing with that problem, but she sneaks and does it. She’s sneaky,” Mrs. Obama said. “But otherwise, they’re both very good. They’re both very good ambassadors. They work really hard.”

The first lady, an Ivy League graduate, also dispensed some advice when a girl asked her how she got into Harvard Law School.

“You’ve got to study hard,” Mrs. Obama said. “You’ve got to read a lot of books. You have to do your homework every day. You have to listen to your teachers, and your moms and dads. That’s the start.”

The Obamas will leave for Hawaii on Friday.

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