Yesterday, November 30, POTUS Tweeted, that he had: “…been looking very much forward to this day ALL YEAR LONG”. Was he referring to a back rub from Hope Hicks? A triple scoop of ice cream? Had his gift from Vladimir arrived?
Nope, it was The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Last year, President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and daughter Sasha, sang with Santa Claus to a packed crowd. This year, the crowd was a little sparse.
The event is traditionally sold out. Tickets are available only through a Park Service lottery, and according to my sources, it is always exciting to attend. Except, not so much, this year. In fact, the White House Tree Lighting Ceremony was a bit of dud, playing to a tiny crowd.
In the early evening, the president and his charming family gathered at the Ellipse in the 52-acre President’s Park located just south of the White House fence for the tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree. The president was introduced by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who called POTUS:
“A man who loves our parks, loves our military, and loves our country. The man who brought ‘Merry Christmas’ back to our nation’s capital. Yes, you did, sir!”
At dusk, the president counted down from 10 while the First Lady, looking gorgeously icy in her red coat from Karl Lagerfeld’s Complicit Line, mouthed the numbers in Slovene before hitting the button that lit up the enormous Colorado Blue Spruce tree.
Speaking from behind a bullet-proof glass enclosure, the president bragged about the mild weather and compared himself to President Ulysses S. Grant, who signed legislation making Christmas a federal holiday. “I sort of feel we’re doing that again”, he said to an audience made up mostly of his family members.
“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.”
Despite his enthusiasm, what the president tweeted was Fake News. The fact was, the place was basically empty, except for Ivanka and a worried Jared Kushner with their children, Don Jr., and Tiffany!
Usually, the National Christmas Tree Lighting is standing room only, according to the National Park Service, which hosts the ceremony. The NPS website says: “The 95-year old tradition is one of the most beloved holiday events in Washington DC.” In fact, it has become such a big event, that last year, the packed ceremony included Chance the Rapper, James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson, The Lumineers, and Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. The event was packed with celebrities and it featured President Obama singing Jingle Bells with Santa Claus (Joe Biden). The tree was lit, and so was the ceremony.
But this year, the chairs were less than half-filled, with most of the attendees gathered around the stage. White Nationalist favorites Kathie Lee Gifford and Dean Cain hosted while Wynonna and something called The Texas Tenors entertained the tens of people who gathered.
If you were not there, do not fret, the whole extravaganza will be aired on The Hallmark Channel on Monday, December 4th at 7pm.
POTUS (not satire):
“With Trump as your president, we are going to be celebrating Merry Christmas again, and it’s going to be done with a big, beautiful tax cut!”