|POTUS in the Oval Office on Thursday morning|
Washington, DC - President Barack Obama on Thursday celebrated Thanksgiving privately at the White House, joined by the First Family and friends. The day was devoted to gratitude, football, talkin' story, and good food, the President said, which included nine different kinds of pie on the holiday menu.
"We’ll be spending today just like many of you--sitting down with family and friends to eat some good food, tell stories, watch a little football, and most importantly, count our blessings," President Obama said during his Weekly Address, issued early and pegged to the holiday.
The President's day at the White House was sun drenched but freezing after the Nor'easter that ripped through the capital on Wednesday as he pardoned turkeys Popcorn and Caramel. It ended a week that saw him spending three days on the west coast raising millions for the Democrats with a host of celebrities.
On Thursday morning the President sat in the Oval Office and made his annual holiday telephone calls to ten active-duty service members stationed overseas. He was clad casually in a silver-gray v-neck sweater and white t-shirt, according to the photo released by the White House.
"President Obama called ten service members: Two from the Army, two from the Marine Corps, two from the Navy, two from the Air Force and two from the Coast Guard," the White House said.
"He thanked all of them for their service, and he wished them and their families a Happy Thanksgiving."
In the morning, the President and First Lady Michelle Obama offered the nation holiday greetings on Twitter.
"Today, let's pledge to help our fellow Americans in need, because we are greater together than we are on our own. #HappyThanksgiving –bo," the President wrote on @WhiteHouse.
"This #Thanksgiving, let's give thanks for all our brave men & women in uniform and their families. We're so grateful for your sacrifice. -mo," Mrs. Obama wrote on @FLOTUS.
Both signed the tweets with their initials, indicating these were personal tweets rather than scribed by aides.
The White House released no guest list for the President's Thanksgiving feast, but did release a menu, notable for featuring nine different kinds of pie. The White House has annually released the exact same menu, but this year named new flavors of pie, and said there were three more pies than the usual six that have been served at past celebrations.
The President and First Family counted their blessings over turkey, honey-baked ham, oyster stuffing, cornbread stuffing, greens, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and dinner rolls, the White House said.
The bounty of pies, the President's favorite dessert, included Huckleberry Pie, Pecan Pie, Chocolate Cream Pie, Sweet Potato Pie, Peach Pie, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Banana Cream Pie, and Coconut Cream Pie.
The White House recipes for the menu are here.
A holiday greeting posted on the Let's Move! Twitter, the official account for Mrs. Obama's childhood obesity campaign, referenced cooking: "Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you have fun with family and friends cooking up your special holiday recipes today," was tweeted on @LetsMove.
Following the turkey pardon ceremony on Wednesday, the President and First Family visited the Capital Area Food Bank, helping pack holiday groceries for the third year in a row at the region's largest anti-hunger organization.
"We remember that many Americans need that helping hand right now," President Obama said in his Weekly Address. On Tuesday, the White House issued a Thanksgiving-themed report on Food Stamps, a rebuke to a proposal from House Republicans to slash billions in Farm Bill funding from the federal nutrition safety net.
For the first time since the 1800's, the first night of Hanukkah fell on Thanksgiving, and the President issued holiday greetings for "Thanksgivukkah."
"Like the Pilgrims, the Maccabees at the center of the Hanukkah story made tremendous sacrifices so they could practice their religion in peace," President Obama said.
President Obama has no public events on his schedule today through Sunday.
Mrs. Obama will be presented with the Official White House Christmas Tree on Friday during a traditional ceremony by the North Portico. The 18-1/2 foot-tall tree for the Blue Room is the centerpiece of White House holiday decor and will be decorated to commemorate military service members and their families, the White House said.
The tree--along with dozens of others for the mansion--was delivered last Tuesday. Mrs. Obama will officially unveil her holiday theme on Dec. 4.
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The President's Thanksgiving Address:
Today, let's pledge to help our fellow Americans in need, because we are greater together than we are on our own. #HappyThanksgiving –bo
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 28, 2013
This #Thanksgiving, let's give thanks for all our brave men & women in uniform and their families. We're so grateful for your sacrifice. -mo
— FLOTUS (@FLOTUS) November 28, 2013
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you have fun with family and friends cooking up your special holiday recipes today.
— Let's Move! (@letsmove) November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving! pic.twitter.com/R8RYLDN16i
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 28, 2013
*Top photo by Pete Souza/White House