US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have reflected on eight years in office as they wished Americans a final "Merry Christmas" from the White House.

"Tomorrow, for the final time as the First Family, we will join our fellow Christians around the world to rejoice in the birth of our Saviour," Obama said on Saturday in his weekly address.

"And as we retell His story from that Holy Night, we'll also remember His eternal message, one of boundless love, compassion and hope."


Michelle Obama urged Americans to remember Jesus' message of caring for others, including the less fortunate and "the stranger, no matter where they come from, or how they practice their faith."

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The couple said their greatest gift had been serving the United States as president and first lady over the last year and pointed to progress in reviving the economy following the recession when he took office.

The first family is spending the holiday in Hawaii as is their tradition, but recorded the message from the White House before departing Washington.

Obama will leave office January 20, when Republican Donald Trump will be inaugurated.

-AAP