WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 03: (L-R) U.S. President Barack Obama presses the button to light up the National Christmas Tree with daughters Malia and Sasha, and First Lady Michelle during the annual National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse December 3, 2009 in Washington, DC. Lighting the National Christmas Tree is a yearly tradition for the President of the United State during the holiday season.
-------------- Alex Wong/Getty Images
U.S. President Barack Obama arrives with daughter Sasha, wife Michelle, daughter Malia and mother-in-law Marian Robinson for the ceremony to light the White House Christmas tree in Washington, December 3, 2009.
Obama Family Lights National Christmas Tree
by The Associated Press
December 3, 2009, 08:55 pm ET
Surrounded by celebrity performers and characters from the North Pole, the Obama family on Thursday led a countdown and lighted the National Christmas Tree.
First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha helped President Barack Obama press a button to light the tree, an annual tradition since the 1920s. "I'm technologically challenged and I might not get this right," the president joked. "Everybody has got to help me out here."
The Obamas and the spectators counted down from five, and the red and yellow lights came alive on the 40-foot Colorado blue spruce growing on the Ellipse, just south of the White House. "It worked," Obama shouted.
After the lighting, Sheryl Crow, who performed at some of Obama's inaugural festivities, sang "Jingle Bell Rock." Hip hop artist Common rapped as a children's group sang. "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks dazzled onlookers bundled in coats and scarves.
"I told Sasha we're not on 'American Idol,'" the president said about his 8-year-old daughter, who sat on his lap during part of the event. The Obama family and Vice President Joe Biden and his grandchildren watched from seats beside the stage, behind a clear protective shielding.
Mrs. Obama sat on stage and read "The Night Before Christmas" as children in knit hats and mittens surrounded her.
Rest of article at link above.
First Lady Michelle Obama applauds after reading the "The Night Before Christmas" to children during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse in Washington December 3, 2009.
------------- REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
The Obama family reacts after lighting the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in Washington December 3, 2009. (L-R) U.S. President Barack Obama, daughters Malia, and Sasha and First Lady Michelle Obama.
US President Barack Obama (R to L), with wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia, attends an event to light the White House Christmas tree in Washington, December 3, 2009.
US Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters Sasha and Malia wave to Santa at a ceremony to light the White House Christmas tree in Washington, December 3, 2009.
U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Sasha attend the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse in Washington December 3, 2009.