First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia are scheduled to arrive in Honolulu Dec. 17 for their Christmas vacation. Whether President Obama will join his family, however, now appears to depend on Congress.

“With respect to my vacation, I would not ask anybody to do something I'm not willing to do myself,” the president said at a Dec. 8 press conference, following a question about his call for members of Congress to stay in Washington until the issue over payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance benefits is resolved.

“I know some of you might have been looking forward to a little sun and sand,” he told reporters. “But the bottom line is that we are going to stay here as long as it takes to make sure that the American people’s taxes don't go up on Jan. 1.”

The president and his family have celebrated the previous three Christmas and New Year’s holidays on Oahu, sticking to a relatively low-key schedule of golf, trips to favorite restaurants, time at the beach at Hanauma Bay and a few quick stops for shave ice.

President Obama was born in Honolulu and spent 14 of the first 18 years of his life on Oahu.
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