Before President Obama left for his Hawaii vacation, he recorded a video message offering his best wishes for the New Year. Transcript and video below.
Good evening. Tonight, as Americans across the country gather with family and friends, I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year.
This is always a hopeful time, as we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. And while 2009 was difficult for many Americans, we must also look back on this year with the knowledge that brighter days are ahead of us - that although our challenges are great, each of us has the courage and determination to rise up and meet them.
It is that spirit that has kept the American Dream alive for generations, and it is that spirit that will keep it alive for generations to come. Happy New Year, everyone.