“Hey everybody, Merry Christmas.”

That was how President Barack Obama greeted military families in the NCO Mess at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Christmas Day. OBAMA/

It was his second visit of the day to the base which is near the first family’s Hawaiian holiday home in Kailua on the island of Oahu, a 30-minute drive from Honolulu.

In the early morning hours, the president and first lady went to the gym on the base to exercise, and then they returned in late afternoon to give handshakes and hugs to Marines and their families having a Christmas day meal.

For the traveling press, the Friday afternoon visit was the first sighting of the couple since they arrived in Hawaii on Thursday. But there was no opportunity to ask him about the plane incident that the White House considers to be “an attempted act of terrorism.”

The president was notified about the incident between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Hawaiian time (a couple of hours after the morning workout) and was “actively monitoring the situation,” a White House spokesman said.