Obama lights the National Christmas Tree
Twas the night before Christmas!
The tradition of lighting the national Christmas tree near the White House dates back to 1923 when newly elected US President John Calvin Coolidge Jr. introduced the custom.
Friday marked the 91st annual tree-lighting ceremony where thousands of US citizens gathered to watch president Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, and mother-in-law Marian Robinson light the national Christmas tree as Aretha Franklin sang, "Joy to the World". "This year we give a special measure of gratitude to Nelson Mandela" declared Obama after the lighting of the tree. To end the night he and Michelle read the story "Twas The Night Before Christmas" to the large crowd.
Barack Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha, mother-in-law Marian Robinson and first lady Michelle Obama
Barack Obama and daughter Malia