During her interview with Kimmel, Obama shared stories of her first visit to Hawaii to visit Barack’s grandparents during Christmas and how it has become an annual family tradition ever since. Kimmel, of course, took the opportunity to ask if her husband ever wrapped gifts in “top secret documents he borrowed from the White House?” Obama laughed and said, “We don’t have any,” eliciting cheers from the crowd.
After sharing how her mother has been an instrumental force in her life and how these days, she and Barack revel in “boring” moments after eight years in Washington, D.C., Obama also talked about the power of decoding fear. Sharing her own family story and how her parents knew that “fear could make your world small,” Obama added, “that’s why people use it to manipulate us, to keep us afraid of each other. We can’t let people manipulate us into living small lives and being afraid of each other.”
The show wrapped up with Kimmel surprising the best-selling author with two ponies for Christmas, while she joked, “How am I going to get this to Hawaii?”
Obama’s stop at the show nearly bookends her 13-date book tour that included appearances from Ellen DeGeneres, Gayle King, Oprah Winfrey, Conan O’Brien, Tracee Ellis Ross, David Letterman, Tyler Perry, Hoda Kotb, Michele Norris, Heather McGhee, and poet Elizabeth Alexander.
The new book comes four years after the release of Obama’s memoir, Becoming, which sold almost a million copies on its first day of release, and went on to become one of the best-selling books of all time. The Light We Carry draws on Obama’s personal struggles over the last few years, offering what she calls a “toolbox” of strategies to stay hopeful and optimistic amidst the many challenges of life.