WASHINGTON (AP) — If Michelle Obama is still trying to figure out what to get the president for Christmas, she got plenty of ideas while visiting sick children in the nation’s capital.

One child suggested a watch. Another said a “president’s bell” to go on the roof of the White House.

Other kids chimed in with suggestions of candy, a new suit and a new hot tub, to which the first lady replied, “You think he’s got an old hot tub?”

Monday’s visit to Children’s National Medical Center is part of a tradition by first ladies that dates to Bess Truman.

Before coming down to the atrium to read “The Night Before Christmas” to an audience of patients, their families and staff, Mrs. Obama visited privately with children in the intensive care unit.

Kids in the audience got to pet Obama family dog Bo before Mrs. Obama departed.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.