President Barack Obama and his daughter Sasha enjoyed a special father-daughter moment as they watched the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, DC, on Thursday (December 9).
The pair were later joined by First Lady Michelle Obama, big sis Malia and grandma Marian Robinson as they took to the stage to help light the tree. The President gave brief remarks, noting the story of Christmas and saying, “It’s a story that’s dear to Michelle and me as Christians but it’s a message that’s universal.”
Michelle then sat down to read Twas the Night Before Christmas. At one point the graceful First Lady removed her gloves so that she could better turn the book’s pages.
In his remarks, Obama mentioned the perils of past lightings, saying, “On one occasion, two sheep left the safety of the Nativity scene and wandered into rush-hour traffic. That caused some commotion.”
The president went on to thank the crowd for coming and said, “On behalf of Malia, Sasha, Michelle, Marian — who’s our grandmother-in-chief — and Bo — don’t forget Bo — I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season.”
Three thousand people attended the festivities after winning tickets through an online lottery. The first Christmas tree lighting ceremony took place back in 1923, with President Calvin Coolidge presiding.