The holidays are officially underway at the White House! President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama invited a slew of stars to the 94th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting at the White House Thursday evening—their last time lighting the tree as the first family.
Eva Longoria kicked off the festive event, which was followed by a heartfelt performance from Kelly Clarkson. POTUS, FLOTUS, and the youngest Obama daughter Sasha then took to the stage. “To everybody who’s here tonight and everybody watching at home, it is now officially the time to light this tree!” exclaimed the President to the excited crowd assembled on the White House’s Ellipse.
A 5-second countdown to light the tree ensued—led by the President. After it was shimmering and sparkling, he then wished everyone a “Merry Christmas” and the First Lady and Sasha waved to the delighted group in attendance. As they’ve done on pretty much every occasion in which we’ve seen them together, POTUS and FLOTUS held hands and smiled.
This year’s tree is a Colorado blue spruce that has been planted on the Ellipse since 2012. It was strewn with sugar plum ornaments, stars, and LED energy-efficient lights in blue, red, and white.
It was one of the most star-studded events ever, with icon Garth Brooks, Coloring Book creator Chance the Rapper, legend James Taylor, singer and expert cook Trisha Yearwood, The Lumineers, and gospel artist Yolanda Adams. We are still so jealous of the guests who won tickets through October’s lottery!
The first family took in the performances from the crowd and like Sasha, we were singing along to Chance the Rapper’s inspiring song, “Sunday Candy” as well.
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If you missed the tree lighting and need more than social media posts to take it all in, you can catch the entire show on Monday night at 7 p.m. ET on the Hallmark Channel. Take a walk down memory lane with a look back at all of the Obamas’ tree lighting ceremonies during their time at the White House.