Greeted by a four-piece band playing holiday classics, the White House Christmas Tree was ferried up the driveway to the North Portico on a green carriage, pulled by two draft horses and driven by one gentleman and two distinguished-looking boys in black pork pie hats and matching masks.

The horses were decked out in silver sleigh bells and had tiny paper Christmas trees in their braids, and the carriage was festooned with holiday wreaths.

There was a slight mishap and delay when the swingletree of the carriage came unhitched, but it was reattached successfully before the carriage continued up the drive. The band played “Oh, Christmas Tree” on a soothing loop as this was accomplished.

Jill Biden, wearing a cranberry-colored coat and a white dress, inspected the tree and was greatly pleased. Asked what she thought of the tree, the first lady told the pool that “it’s beautiful — it’s magnificent, actually.”

The first lady then removed a sprig from the tree and handed it to Beau Biden, her young grandson, before inviting a service family to pet the horses.

Before the end of the ceremony, Jill Biden told the pool that her message for servicemembers in the holiday season was to “be safe and have a happy, healthy holiday.”

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