First lady Jill Biden preps White House Christmas tree for lighting ceremony

First lady Jill Biden’s holiday decorating journey got off to a speedy start: the official White House Christmas tree was presented to her this morning.

As the first couple wrapped up the festivities for the annual baby shower fundraiser, the White House released a photo of first lady Jill Biden holding up the decorated tree as President Obama signaled that it was time to light the menorah on the south portico.

And Biden expressed her excitement over the opportunity to decorate, posting a video on Facebook moments before the tree was passed on to her. “I’m excited for tomorrow,” she gushed. “It’s almost official, so excited.”

“The White House Christmas tree lighting ceremony is a tradition that has been a fixture on the D.C. holiday landscape for nearly half a century. It is an honor to serve as the White House First Lady as we welcome the Christmas season with family and friends and look forward to celebrating the holidays together,” said Mrs. Biden in a press release about the affair.

Previous decorations, in part, have included ornate casement windows decorated by White House staff. This year’s tree is a D.C. native, a Douglas fir that was lit Monday morning in an elaborate ceremony with brass bands, singing chorus, period music, and even a nativity scene, which was carefully unfolded by the Rose Garden staff for President Obama.

The tree, which stands 29 feet tall, was available from Evergreen Farms in Washington D.C. and was one of four trees selected for the tree-lighting ceremony by a private panel of Arlington National Cemetery staff.

“Christmas is a happy time to enjoy the traditions of our nation and our family and friends — an opportunity to rejoice in love and faith,” said Biden. “It is an opportunity to celebrate togetherness and give thanks for life. The tradition of lighting the White House Christmas tree and decorating the house is an honor that I am thrilled to uphold.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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