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Staycation: National Christmas Tree

December 2, 2011

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree — New York’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree might get all of the attention (and a national TV special) but we all know that the real Christmas tree winner is the National Christmas Tree, right in the president’s backyard.

If, like me, you weren’t able to score tickets to last night’s tree lighting, you can watch the highlights online:

The tradition of lighting a national Christmas tree dates back 89 years to Calvin Coolidge — who’s making it onto the Favorite Presidents list since he apparently “loved having his head rubbed with Vaseline while he ate breakfast in bed” and had two pet raccoons — and continues today with guests from around the country and the world.

Wikimedia Commons

The big tree is the highlight but I love walking around and seeing the individual state trees, which line the Pathway to Peace. (Yes, Washington, DC and unincorporated US territories like Puerto Rico and Guam also have trees.) Each tree is decorated with ornaments representing that region.


Virgin Islands:

Washington, DC:

See all 56 ornaments from last year here.

Last night, President Obama wasn’t the biggest star at the tree lighting. That honor was reserved for this guy:

He helped the First Lady read The Night Before Christmas.

You have a month to check out all of the trees — located on the Ellipse, the green area between the White House and the Mall. It’s beautiful during the day but be sure to stop by at night, too, for the full effect of glowing trees against the backdrop of the illuminated White House.

Have you visited the National Christmas tree before? Does your city have its own main tree?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2011 11:48 am

    I am so excited to go see the Christmas trees this year. I didn’t last year and I missed it!

  2. December 2, 2011 4:18 pm

    It must be BEAUTIFUL!! 🙂

  3. Deborah permalink
    December 3, 2011 1:06 pm

    I went every year from the time I moved to NoVA in 2003 until they changed the ticket distribution to lottery. I haven’t been able to snag any tickets. Oh well, we still visit and it is spectacular! Especially at night. We plan on seeing the trees tomorrow after the US Air Force Christmas concert at DAR. Gotta love free events in DC…especially at Christmas!

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