The president and first lady also shared a message for the holiday. "We have a new appreciation for those little moments we can't plan or replicate," Dr. Jill Biden said

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President Biden and the First Lady called Al Roker while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from Nantucket
Credit: Josh Wingrove via the White House

Joe Biden is keeping his Thanksgiving Day traditions alive, even as president.

While the president spends the long weekend in Nantucket — where the Biden family has traveled for the holiday since 1975 — he and the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, watched the 95th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC and even called Al Roker during the broadcast.

"After two years, we're back, America is back, there's nothing we're unable to overcome," Biden, 79, told the Today show co-host, who was along the parade route in New York City on Thursday and asked about the president's message for the country.

"I'm waiting for Santa," Biden added with a laugh. "Wish we were there with you, Al."

As the quick call ended, Roker joked that he wasn't sure how Biden got his number. "Well, he's the president of the United States, I guess he can do that," Roker said.

The Bidens also recorded a video message to the nation, which was posted to Twitter early Thanksgiving morning.

"Happy Thanksgiving, everyone," the president said with Dr. Biden by his side. "This is always a special time in America but this year the blessings of Thanksgiving are especially meaningful."

"After being apart last year, we have a new appreciation for those little moments we can't plan or replicate," the first lady said. "The music of laughter in a warm, full kitchen. The thump of small feet making big sounds. The circle of faces crowded around our dining room table, glowing in the candlelight."

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden wave from the stairs of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base
Credit: Luis M Alvarez/AP/Shutterstock

After a small at-home holiday in 2020 due to the pandemic, there will certainly be a lot of Bidens around the table in Nantucket this year. Joining the president and first lady at the home of a friend on the island are his daughter Ashley, his son Hunter Biden and Hunter's wife Melissa, Hunter's daughters Maisy, Finnegan and Naomi, as well as her fiancé Peter Neal, and Hunter's son Beau Jr. The president's other grandchildren, Natalie and Hunter, are also with the family.

"For the First Lady and me, Thanksgiving has always been a cherished time to enjoy annual traditions that have evolved into sacred rituals with our children and grandchildren:  throwing the football, preparing family recipes, lighting candles, and setting the table," Biden said in a Thanksgiving proclamation on Wednesday.

"For many Americans, this Thanksgiving will be the first time gathering with loved ones in person since the start of the pandemic — a time of full tables and full hearts," he continued. "As we celebrate, we will also be thinking of the many families feeling the pain of an empty chair at the Thanksgiving table.  You are not alone, and our Nation stands with you."