President, first lady offer Kwanzaa greetings

President Obama and first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle ObamaVideo surfaces of Michelle Obama at Beyonce’s birthday party Budowsky: Dems need council of war The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE extended Kwanzaa greetings on Friday, the first day of the weeklong celebration. 

"Today begins a celebration highlighting the rich African American heritage and culture through the seven principles of Kwanzaa—unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith," the pair said in a statement. 

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The Kwanzaa holiday, first celebrated in 1966, runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, ending with a feast and gift-giving. 

"During this season, families come together to reflect on blessings of the past year and look forward to the promises in the year ahead," said the Obamas.

"As we remain committed to building a country that provides opportunity for all, this time of year reminds us that there is much to be thankful for," they added.

The first family is on their two-week annual Christmas vacation in Hawaii.