President Obama and his family light up National Christmas Tree to ignite the holiday season

President Barack Obama and his family flipped the switch for the annual lighting of the White House National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in Washington on Thursday night (December 6, 2102). It was the 90th annual lighting of the tree, which replaced last year’s fir that died after only one year in the role. The ceremony was hosted by “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris and featured some musical acts including Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Jason Mraz, The Fray, James Taylor, Colbie Caillat and American Idol season 11 winner Phillip Phillips. It was estimated that about 17,000 people joined the festivities at the Ellipse park where Mr. Obama switched on the lights of the National Christmas Tree. President Obama was joined by his wife Michelle Obama, mother-in-law Marian Robinson and two adorable daughters Sasha and Malia. When he counted down from five, his First Lady and their children pushed the big button to light up the tree topped with a yellow star and covered in cascading white lights. During the ceremony, Mr. Obama also had a brief speech in which he noted that the holidays would be hard for many people affected by Hurricane Sandy. “Now, we know that some of our neighbors to the north saw a more ruthless and destructive Sandy. And this holiday season is especially difficult for families who lost everything in the storm,” the president said. “But it’s also a time for us to be grateful for the heroism and perseverance of ordinary men and women in the storm’s path who’ve showed us that Americans will always be stronger than the challenges that we face.” President Barack Obama then ended the evening joining the singers on stage in a singalong version of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”

Barack Obama and his family including wife Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia Obama show up in Washington for the 90th lighting of the White House National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse Thursday night (December 6, 2102).

President Barack Obama…

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