WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The first family attended a Christmas fundraising event for the Children's National Medical Center in Washington Sunday night.
President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha were greeted by children dressed as Santa's elves when they arrived at the National Building Museum for the "Christmas in Washington" fundraiser taped by Turner Network Television for a Dec. 17 airing.
"Did you guys come from the North Pole?" the president asked the kids, ages 2-7, many of whom are children and grandchildren of congressmen, staff members and the media.
"Can you guys Ho Ho?"
They can, the president quickly learned.
The Obamas also were serenaded by carolers and posed for pictures with guests and the elves in front of a Christmas tree loaded with gifts, including a basket of books the Obamas donated to the hospital.
Time Warner Inc. Chairman Jeff Bewkes sat next to the president during the performance while Michelle Obama was seated next to her mother, Marian Robinson.
Ellen Degeneres served as host for the Christmas music event, which included performances by Miranda Cosgrove, Annie Lennox, Matthew Morrison, Andrea Bocelli and Mariah Carey, among others.
Obama wished everyone a "Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays," recounted the Christmas story in the New Testament and urged people to think of others during holiday season.
"We are called to love each other as we love ourselves. We are our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper. It's a message that guides my Christian faith," he said.
Earlier in the day, the president played basketball with his daughters and their friends for more than an hour.