Biden, first lady visit hospitalized kids on Christmas Eve

Washington DC

First Lady Jill Biden displays a lantern made by a patient at Children’s National Hospital as part of a winter craft project as she and President Joe Biden visit patients in Washington, Friday, Dec. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden brought some Christmas Eve cheer to hospitalized children who aren’t well enough to go home for holidays.

It’s longstanding tradition for first ladies to visit Children’s National Hospital at Christmastime, but Joe Biden’s visit on Friday was a surprise. It marked the first time that a sitting president had joined the fun, the White House said.

The Bidens are set to help a group of children making lanterns as part of a winter craft project. Jill Biden will also sit by the Christmas tree and read “Olaf’s Night Before Christmas” to the kids. Video of her reading will also be shown in patient rooms throughout the hospital.

The Walt Disney Co. provided copies of the book for each patient so they can follow along with the first lady, the White House said. Each book includes a White House bookmark designed by her office.

The annual tradition of a hospital visit by the first lady dates to Bess Truman, who served in the role from 1945-1953.

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