Comedian Ellen DeGeneres hosted the event at the National Building Museum, which benefited the Children's National Medical Center.
Entertainers including Mariah Carey and Andrea Bocelli sang Christmas songs and performed for the First Family in a packed auditorium including First Lady Michelle, daughters Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9, and First Grandma Marian Robinson.
In remarks to the crowd, President Obama talked about the story of Jesus' birth. "The story and message speak to us today. We are called to love each other as we love ourselves," the president said from the stage, with his family surrounding him. He cited the tougher circumstances for many people these holidays.
"We pray for our troops. We remember those who are out of work and struggling to get by," Obama said, urging people to show "charity, passion and goodwill" to their neighbors. "From our family to yours, happy holidays and Merry Christmas."
Prior to the event, the First Family offered presents from the White House to a group of young children dressed as elves, who placed the gifts under a Christmas tree.
The evening also featured performances from R&B artist Maxwell, and TV stars Miranda Cosgrove of "iCarly" and Matthew Morrison of "Glee.''
The concert will air Friday on TNT at 8 p.m.
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