Every year the White House puts on an extravagant display to celebrate the holiday season and all its cheer. A giant tree is decorated in the Blue Room of the president’s mansion, and Christmas lights are strung along the trees and bushes outside, where the National Christmas tree shines brighter than the rest.
The National Christmas Tree will be lit for the first time this year on Dec. 3 during a huge celebration that attracts visitors from all over the country. The ceremony – and, really, the White House holiday season -- will begin at 4:30 p.m. EST in Washington, D.C., and includes performances from two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famers David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. Crosby, Stills and Nash will be joined by Grammy-nominated singer Aloe Blacc, singer/songwriter Kelsea Ballerini and the Joyous String Quartet.
This year’s Blue Room Christmas Tree is from a tree farm in Pennsylvania. The tree is 14 years old and stands tall at 18 ½ feet, according to Philly.com.
The White House has been celebrating Christmas since the year 1800, when the first White House Christmas party was held in December of that year. That celebration was thrown as a gift to President John Adams, the country’s second commander in chief. It wasn’t until 1929, however, that First Lady Lou Henry Hoover made the Christmas tree an official tradition, and now ever since the tree is trimmed by the first lady in the Blue Room.
The decorations generally also have a theme to them, and last year it was “a children’s winter wonderland.” This year’s theme hasn’t been disclosed yet.