Bidens continue tradition in visit with hospitalized kids on Christmas Eve

National News
Joe Biden, Jill Biden

President Joe Biden waves as he and first lady Jill Biden walk on the South Lawn of the White House after stepping off Marine One, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Washington. The Bidens are returning from a CNN town hall in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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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