Wednesday, November 28, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama Receives 2012 Official White House Christmas Tree

Mrs. Obama will welcome military families to the White House when she unveils her holiday decor theme...

First Lady Michelle Obama gave a thumbs up on Friday morning to the official White House Christmas Tree, delivered during a festive but chilly morning ceremony by horse-drawn wagon. Joined by daughters Malia, Sasha and First Dog Bo, Mrs. Obama received the 19-foot Fraser Fir in front of the North Portico as a Marine Corps string quartet played "O Christmas Tree." The First Lady led Bo on a leash as she and the girls circled the North Carolina-grown tree and examined it closely, accompanied by father-son farmers Randy and Beau Estes, the 2012 National Christmas Tree Association Grand Champions. (Above: Mrs. Obama gives the thumbs up)

"It is gorgeous," Mrs. Obama told the farmers. "It's perfect." As she raised her hand to give the thumbs up, Mrs. Obama said "It's a go. We can have Christmas now."

The First Lady wore a festive red printed skirt, black turtleneck, wide belt and knee-high boots, and at one point bent over and gave a branch a sniff. Malia and Sasha poked at the tip of the huge tree. The centerpiece of this year's holiday decor, the tree will be displayed in the Blue Room, and decorated with ornaments made by children living on U.S. Military Bases all over the world, the White House said. It is "in tribute to the courageous service of our armed forces." The First Lady will unveil the tree and her 2012 holiday theme next Wednesday, Nov. 28.

The Estes harvested the tree earlier this month on their Peak Farms in Jefferson, Ashe County, North Carolina after members of the White House grounds staff selected it in October. The duo won their Grand Champion title in August for a different tree.

White House staff and volunteers invited from across the US will deck the halls of the White House over the weekend, transforming 1600 Pennsylvania into a glittering and festive wonderland. Mrs. Obama has invited military families, including Gold Star and Blue Star parents, spouses and children to the White House next week for the first viewing of the 2012 holiday decorations on Wednesday.

She will deliver remarks in the East Room, and then ask the military children to join her in the State Dining Room as White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford and Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, and White House Chief Floral Designer Laura Dowling demonstrate holiday crafts and treats.
Members of the National Christmas Tree Association have presented the Official White House Christmas Tree for display in the Blue Room each year since 1966.

President Obama on Friday morning was working off his Thanksgiving feast, playing golf at Joint Base Andrews with three White House aides. He departed the White House just as Mrs. Obama was receiving the tree. (Above: Mrs. Obama and the girls with the Estes)

Photos by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama

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