Hanukkah at the White House

Celebrating Hanukkah at the White House tonight, President Obama said the holiday is one that celebrates "faith over doubt" and reminds us that "miracles come in all shapes and sizes."

"This Hanukkah season, we remember a story so powerful that we all know it by heart - even us Gentiles," the president said with the first lady, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden at his side.

"It's a story of right over might, of faith over doubt, of a band of believers who rose up and freed their people and discovered that the oil left in their desecrated temple - which should have lasted only one night - ended up lasting eight," he said. "It's a timeless story. And for 2,000 years, it has given hope to Jews everywhere who are struggling. And today, it reminds us that miracles come in all shapes and sizes."

The president said Hanukkah is also a time to be grateful for friendships, with each other and between nations.

"And that includes, of course, our unshakeable support and commitment to the security of the nation of Israel," he said.

Tonight's celebration comes a bit early: Hanukkah begins at sunset on Dec. 20.

"We're jumping the gun just a little bit," Obama joked. "The way I see it, we're just extending the holiday spirit. We're stretching it out. But we do have to be careful that your kids don't start thinking Hanukkah lasts 20 nights instead of eight. That will cause some problems."