President-elect Barack Obama and his family planned a Christmas Day that includes opening presents in the morning and sharing a traditional turkey and ham dinner in the evening.
Obama and his family were vacationing at a beachfront rental home in Kailua in his native Hawaii. Aides said the Obamas were to enjoy a traditional holiday meal at their home Thursday and would have close family friends from Chicago visit throughout the day.
The Obamas have kept a low profile while vacationing in a quiet neighborhood on Oahu. The family spent Christmas Eve offering an appreciation to the U.S. military in a recorded message.
"This holiday season, their families celebrate with a joy that is muted knowing that a loved one is absent, and sometimes in danger," Obama said in the message. "In towns and cities across America, there is an empty seat at the dinner table; in distant bases and on ships at sea, our servicemen and women can only wonder at the look on their child's face as they open a gift back home."
Obama, his family and his close friends are spending 12 days on the island of Oahu at a rented $9 million beachfront estate. Aides say the Obamas would have no public events during the trip, although he has received intelligence briefings and met with aides.
In past years the Obamas have spent the December holidays visiting Obama's maternal grandmother, who died Nov. 2, before Obama's historic Nov. 4 victory. The Obamas had a private memorial service Tuesday for Madelyn Payne Dunham, known to friends as "Toot," who helped raise him.