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Where the presidents have spent Christmas

Audrey Conklin

Presidents and their families over the years have opted to spend Christmas either in or outside the Washington, D.C., bubble.

While some chose more tropical destinations, others chose to bare the cold -- but for a good reason.

President Trump

President Trump and his family spent his first Christmas as president in 2017 at his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

In 2018, Trump stayed in D.C. as a result of what became the longest government shutdown in U.S. history as Democratic and Republican lawmakers grappled with terms of the omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2019.

The president returned to Mar-a-Lago for Christmas this year after being impeached by the House of Representatives and hosted a video teleconference with members of the military Tuesday morning.

The residence is expected to become Trump's new home once he moves out of New York City, according to The New York Times.

President Obama

President Obama and his family also opted for a warm Christmas vacation at their vacation home in Kailua, Hawai'i.

The Obamas "personally selected" the five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath estate called the Plantation Estate at Paradise Point at Kailua Bay for their vacation home, according to the Paradise Point website. The home is nestled in a gated community near Honolulu.

The property has become known at the Obama Winter White House.

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Obama had a tradition of greeting troops at the Marine Corps base in Hawaii during his holiday visits.

President George W. Bush

President George W. Bush took after his father, the late President George H. W. Bush, in his tradition of staying near Washington, D.C., at presidential retreat Camp David for Christmas.

Washington Times reporter Joseph Curl, who covered President George W. Bush during his eight years in office, published an op-ed for the Times in which he described Bush's decision not to leave D.C. during the holidays as a "spectacular gift."

"In December, we never left Washington, D.C., until the day after Christmas. Never. Mr. Bush and his wife, Laura, would always depart the White House a few days before the holiday and hunker down at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland," Curl wrote.

"After a few years, I asked a low-level White House staffer why. I still remember what she said: 'So all of us can be with our families on Christmas,'" Curl concluded.

Bush, like his father, would wait until the day after Christmas to travel home to Texas.

President Clinton

The Clintons spent their Christmases in the White House.

The family would attend midnight mass on Christmas at the National Cathedral. On Christmas Day, President Clinton apparently had a tradition of doing last-minute Christmas shopping at Union Station, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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The family would then have a Christmas dinner at the White House and exchanged gifts in private, the LA Times reported.

President George H. W. Bush

The late President George H. W. Bush started the Bush family tradition of staying in D.C. for the holidays.

Bush would stay in the city out of consideration for his staff, so they could stay close to home for the holidays, according to journalist and author of "The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents" Ronald Kessler.

"Bush 'made it clear to all his staff that none of them was a security expert, and if the Secret Service made a decision, he was the one to sign off on it, and they were never to question our decisions or make life difficult,'" Kessler wrote in his book, quoting former agent Pete Dowling.

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"'So consequently, it was kind of a moment in time, because all the entities really worked well together to make his protection and the activities that he participated in successful," Dowling said.

Bush, like his son, he traveled to Texas after Christmas.

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