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President Obama: 'Spirit of giving' connects all Americans during holidays

In this week's address, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

President Barack Obama used his annual Christmas message to urge Americans to remember troops serving far from home and embrace the spirit of the season and give back.

"Our extraordinary men and women in uniform are serving so that the rest of us can enjoy the blessings we cherish during the holidays," the president said in a pre-recorded message with first lady Michelle Obama by his side. "But that means many of our troops are far from home and far from family."

The president urged people to celebrate the season with service by volunteering at a soup kitchen, buying gifts for kids in need or organizing food and clothing drives.

"For families like ours, that service is a chance to celebrate the birth of Christ and live out what He taught us — to love our neighbors as we would ourselves; to feed the hungry and look after the sick; to be our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper," he said.

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.

The first lady echoed the message:

"So as we look to the New Year, let’s pledge ourselves to living out those values by reaching out and lifting up those in our communities who could use a hand up," Michelle said.