by Richard Borreca
Hawaii's home-grown president, Barack Obama, is expected back in Honolulu on Dec. 23, according to sources in Washington.
The president and his family are expected to stay until Jan. 2, meaning he will celebrate both Christmas and New Year's in the islands.
In the past, Obama made a point of celebrating Christmas with his grandmother Madelyn Payne Dunham. The woman who raised Obama when his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was working and studying in Indonesia, died last November.
Also in past years, Obama would spend time with his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng.
Soetoro-Ng and her husband, Konrad Ng, are also expected back in Honolulu. They were living in Washington, D.C., this year while Ng, a University of Hawaii professor, was scholar-in-residence at the Smithsonian Institution's Asian Pacific American program.
Soetoro-Ng had recalled during last year's campaign that she and her brother would often use Christmastime to play Scrabble together.
Brian Schatz, Hawaii Democratic Party chairman, said yesterday that while he could not confirm Obama's trip, a visit would show how Obama's love for the islands remains.
"It would show how strong and deep are his ties to his home state," Schatz said. "We are all proud of him and excited any time he chooses to come here."
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