By NBC News and news services
Handout / Reuters
Former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and his father George H.W. Bush attend a function onboard the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier off the coast of Maine, June 10, 2012 in this U.S. Navy handout photo.
Former President George H.W. Bush, who has been hospitalized for a month undergoing treatment for bronchitis, may not be released from a Houston hospital in time to celebrate Christmas at home as doctors had hoped.
Bush, 88, remained in stable condition, George Kovacik, a spokesman at Methodist Hospital, said in a statement on Sunday.
?His doctors feel he should build up his energy before going home. They remain optimistic about his full recovery and are being extra cautious with his care. No discharge date has been set at this time,? the statement said.
Earlier this month, Kovacik said doctors expected Bush would be able to spend Christmas at home with his family.
Bush, the 41st president and a Republican, took office in 1989 and served one term in the White House. The father of former President George W. Bush, he also is a former congressman, U.N. ambassador, CIA director and vice president for two terms under Ronald Reagan.
Reuters contributed to this report.