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President Obama Talks About His Favorite Christmas Gifts on Oprah Winfrey Special

A Lesson From Obama: Give the Gift of Health

It's often pointed out how fit and healthy President Barack Obama is — he plays basketball with a passion, goes to the gym six days a week, and when on vacation chooses to bodysurf over lounging on the beach. It was even reported that during his presidential campaign he hit the gym for 48 days in a row. In light of his struggle to kick a nicotine habit — something he says he is 95 percent cured of — Obama lives a pretty fitness-focused lifestyle.

Last night the first couple was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey for the holiday special, Christmas at the White House, which gave viewers a peek into how the first family spends their holidays together. While watching, I was struck by a few things that the president said on Christmases past and thought to myself that particular gifts he received as a child helped shape him into the health conscious man that he is today.

To find out what the president's favorite childhood gifts were,


When asked what his favorite gifts as a child were, the president fondly remembered receiving a basketball from his father the first time he met him.

"You know, I do remember the one time I met my father he was visiting during Christmas and he gave me a basketball and - the degree to which I came to love basketball — it wasn't until much later in life that I realized, ‘Actually, he gave me that basketball.'"

The president also reminisced on receiving his first "big kid 10 speed bike" as a Christmas gift and how special it was. It's clear that the Obamas believe that many of life's lessons start at home, and I couldn't help but think that these two gifts were motivating factors for the president to be active even as a little one. If you have a special youngster in your life, consider giving them a gift that encourages them to get up and get moving. The smallest gifts we  give may leave lasting impressions later, as is illustrated in the president's life — decades later, the basketball he received as a child is still the main focus of his fit lifestyle.

Image Source: Getty
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Spectra Spectra 6 years
How can you be a "95% non-smoker"? If you smoke at all, you're a smoker. Still, it's cool that he promotes giving gifts of fitness to the kids in your life. As a kid, I wasn't terribly athletic, but my parents got me a bike one year and a SkipIt when those were popular. I can definitely say I got more enjoyment out of those presents than I got out of say, most of the Barbie dolls I got.
Bridey123 Bridey123 6 years
Great story. Makes you wonder, the effect, giving kids PS2's & X boxes for Christmas.
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