22 DECEMBER 2008 After 11 hard months on the campaign trail and with less than a month to go before he takes over one of the most important jobs in the world, no-one would begrudge president elect Barack Obama the chance for a little r and r. The Illinois statesman has been doing just that - enjoying a round of golf or two in his native Hawaii on a festive break with his family.
Mr Obama, his wife Michelle and their daughters Sasha and Malia are spending 12 nights in a luxury apartment on Oahu, the island where Barack was born and spent much of his childhood. It will be their final getaway before the January 20 inauguration, and with this in mind Mr Obama will be doing some work, including receiving national security briefings each day.
Nestled along a white sandy beach rated among the best in the world and with a view of a lush mountain range, the property the family are believed to be staying in is on a small peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and a narrow canal on the other.
Since the future US president left the islands for college in California he has returned almost every year to visit school friends and family. The last time the 47-year-old was there was in October to visit his sick grandmother, who died two days before he made history, being elected as America's first black president. This month's family holiday is expected to include a private memorial service for her.