Obama starts Christmas shopping, takes part in Small Business Saturday

President checks list on Blackberry

After millions flocked to superstores for mega-deals on Black Friday, President Barack Obama took part in the third annual Small Business Saturday by stopping at a bookstore near Washington.

The president and his two daughters -- Sasha and Malia -- departed the White House Saturday afternoon to One More Page Books, a shop in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Va.

With his Blackberry in hand, Obama appeared to be looking at a list as he spoke with the store's owner, Eileen McGervey, according to pool reports.

"Preparation," the president said. "That's how I shop."

Obama gave the clerk a stack of titles, shook hands with employees and walked around the store.

Asked about the so-called fiscal cliff, with its looming budget slicing, by a pool reporter, the president said: "We're doing Christmas shopping...Happy Thanksgiving, folks."

As he came out of the bookstore, he walked up to supporters who were applauding and cheering along two ropelines.

"Aren't you cold out here?" he asked.

The White House later reported that Obama bought 15 children's books meant to be offered as gifts to family for Christmas.

Last year, the Obamas shopped at a different book store - Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café in the District of Columbia --- on Small Business Saturday, a tradition started by American Express in 2010.