You may remember earlier this year that President Obama, in a fit of pique over Congress actually allowing his sequester cuts idea to take effect, had White House public tours canceled to save lunch money.

During the later partial government shutdown, he ordered national monuments “closed,” even though most are open-air.

Now, comes holiday season in the Obama White House. Every president entertains there, though the Obamas showed no shyness about frequent lavish celebrity galas even as millions of fellow Americans struggled during the recession’s highest unemployment.

Every president decorates the White House for these holidays. But many presidents tend to stay put during this month to allow Secret Service and other staff to spend time with their families. The Obamas choose instead to make the nine-hour flights to Hawaii with family and staff. And the nine-hour return trip.

Air Force One costs about $182,000 to operate for every flight hour, or just under $1.64 million each way, a bargain after the family’s $100 million trip around Africa this past summer.

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