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First Family lights National Christmas Tree

By Cheriss May/Howard University News Service
On December 29, 2015

Hundreds of people join the First Family to light the National Christmas Tree on the White House Ellipse.
Credit: Cheriss May/Howard University News Service 

On a brisk December night, the First Family joined hundreds of people to officially light the 2015 National Christmas Tree last Thursday on the White House Ellipse. 

Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon hosted the ceremony, which featured performances from musical trio David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash; Fall Out Boy, Andra Day, Aloe Blacc, Scandal’s Bellamy Young, Kelsea Ballerini, Tori Kelly, Trombone Shorty, the Joyous String Ensemble and the United States Coast Guard Band. There was also a special appearance by Miss Piggy. 

The oldest, full-time Park Ranger, 94-year-old Betty Reid Soskin, introduced President Obama. Soskin works five days a week at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, Calif. “Merry Christmas everybody, and thank you, Betty, for that introduction, for your extraordinary service as one of our park rangers, and for all of your –and your great-grandmother’s – contributions to this country,” said Obama. “I want tips from Betty on how I can look that good at 94.”

After leading the crowd in a countdown, the president, First Lady Michelle Obama, their daughters, Malia and Sasha, and Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, took the stage to light the tree at the 93rd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting.

“So on behalf of Michelle, and Malia, and Sasha, and Grandma, and Bo, and Sunny, happy holiday to all of you,” said Obama.

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