Photo: William Moon

President Trump and the first lady participated in their first Lightening of the National Christmas Tree in Washington D.C. 

President Donald Trump and the first lady arrived at President’s Park on The Ellipse by very brief motorcade. They walked on stage holding hands and waving to the crowd and took their place behind the podium and protective glass. The president spoke briefly asking inviting everyone to take part in the Christmas tree lighting countdown.

“We want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year. Have unbelievable holidays. And we are now going to light a very beautiful tree,” he said, before leading a countdown from 10, at the end of which, the first lady threw the switch — a wooden box to the left of the podium.

Photo: William Moon

At 5:10 pm, the bright lights came on, leaving the Christmas tree adorned with blue and yellowish lights, some twinkling.

The co-hosts Dean Cain and Kathie Lee Gifford were with the Trumps at the switch. The First Family then walked down red-carpeted steps to their seats in the front row, where they stood for several minutes, along with the rest of the audience, waiting for a stage set change.

Since 1923 American presidents were participating in the Lightning of the National Chrismas Tree.

After the Beach Boys performed “Little Saint Nick” Father Francis Foley of the U.S. Naval Academy offered the invocation.

“May the message of love and mercy proclaimed by prophets and saints throughout the centuries remind us to embrace and share all that is good, and true, and beautiful. Bless this Christmas tree and this nation. During the holiday time grant all Americans the wisdom to forgive old hurts, the willingness to grow in love, and the glowing spirit that reflects the Golden Rule. Oh Lord, may all who pass this symbol of love be filled with joy and inspired to share your generosity and kindness with all who are in need. In your most holy name we pray. Amen!”

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