Of drones, toys and hedge­hogs: Michelle Obama tracks Santa

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

For most peo­ple, a Christ­mas Eve phone call with the first lady of the United States is an un­ex­pected sur­prise. But Austin was hold­ing out for some­one else. “I want to hear Santa talk,” said Austin, one of a hand­ful of kids who called the NORAD Tracks Santa pro­gram on Satur­day and found Michelle Obama on the other end of the line. Santa couldn’t get to the phone, the first lady pa­tiently ex­plained, “be­cause he’s de­liv­er­ing all the gifts” - 3 mil­lion as of late morn­ing in Honolulu, where Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and his fam­ily are on va­ca­tion.

There was a bit­ter­sweet note this year as the first lady car­ried out her an­nual Christ­mas ri­tual for the fi­nal time, tak­ing calls from kids who wanted to know ex­actly how much progress Santa had made on his jour­ney. It’ll be up to the next first lady, Me­la­nia Trump, to de­cide next year whether to con­tinue the tra­di­tion. But Austin had an­other con­cern in mind: Would Santa know where to go? “I’m go­ing to move to an­other house,” said Austin, joined by three other kids in North Carolina. No mat­ter, Mrs Obama replied.

“He’s go­ing to be able to find you no mat­ter where you go,” she said, ac­cord­ing to a tran­script re­leased by the White House. “That’s the spe­cial thing about Santa.” The first lady spent roughly a half-hour tak­ing calls be­fore join­ing her hus­band, daugh­ters Sasha and Malia and fam­ily friends for lunch at Side Street Inn, whose greasy food and low-key at­mos­phere is pop­u­lar among Hawaii lo­cals and tourists alike.

Then the fam­ily drove to Break­out Waikiki, a “live ac­tion” ex­pe­ri­ence where visi­tors are “trapped” in a room and must work to­gether to break out. But be­fore the fam­ily fun, there was a ge­og­ra­phy les­son as the first lady up­dated chil­dren about Santa’s most re­cent lo­cales on his gift-giv­ing voy­age: Sar­dinia, Malta and Hun­gary, to name a few. If there was a les­son for the first lady, it was a crash course in the lat­est hot-item gifts. A girl named Kirsten told Mrs.

Obama she wanted a drone from Santa. Joshua wanted a Hot Wheels garage, while Aiden wanted a hov­er­board. But it was Adi­lyn whose gift seemed to catch the first lady off guard. “I’m get­ting a hedge­hog to­mor­row,” Adi­lyn said.

— AP

In this, file photo, first lady Michelle Obama waves as she de­parts af­ter a hol­i­day event at Chil­dren’s Na­tional Health Sys­tem in Wash­ing­ton.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.