Obama lights National Christmas Tree for final time

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Lighting the national tree is a tradition the president of the United States undertakes every holiday season.

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughter Sasha light the 2016 National Christmas Tree during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016.

After lighting the tree with Michelle Obama, Sasha Obama, and Eva Longoria (sorry, Malia Obama), POTUS lit up the crowd with an impassioned speech about "America's goodness". In addition to Clarkson, the Lumineers, Garth Brooks, Chance the Rapper, James Taylor and Yolanda Adams were just a few of the performers scheduled to perform.

Those without tickets can see the entire show Monday on the Hallmark Channel.

Audience members also used the ceremony to celebrate the president's legacy, sporadically shouting "Thanks Obama!" and chanting "four more years!" The tree is adorned with LED energy-efficient red, white and blue lights, as well as stars and sugar plum ornaments, The Washington Post reports.

And the tree itself has changed over the years.

Thursday, Dec. 8 marks the annual 'holiday evening on 5th.' Live musical performances will be present along Fifth Avenue as well as some side streets while visitors try to finish their Christmas shopping early. Its replacement was planted a month later and was lit for Christmas 2011, but died the following spring due to complications from transplant shock.



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