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Obama and celebs light up for Christmas

2012-12-07 09:16
 
Washington - Thousands of people gathered in front of the White House as US President Barack Obama and his family lit the National Christmas Tree on Thursday.

The 90th annual tree lighting ceremony was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, known for his role in How I Met Your Mother, and featured performances from artists such as Colbie Caillat, The Fray and Jason Mraz.

The programme also included a Christmas story read by Michelle Obama and Modern Family actor Rico Rodriguez.

President Obama wished the nation happy holidays, reminding Americans that Christmas is a time for reflection and thanksgiving, especially in light of recent hardships in the homeland such as Hurricane Sandy.

Kristina Lemmon and her family were apart of the large crowd who attended the ceremony. They found out hours before the event that they won tickets to participate in the event. The family just moved to the Washington area a month ago from Utah.

'It's a happy time'

"I'm so excited to be here," Lemmon said. "There's so much to do, we're not used to being surrounded by so much and all the history too."

Volunteer Maurita Mulligan used to attend the tree lighting ceremony when she was working in the city, but hadn't been since she retired.

"Last time I was down here, there was not as many people, so they have opened it up a great deal," Mulligan said. "I think it's a happy time."

The national Christmas tree standing in front of the White House is a 10-metre Colorado blue spruce and is lit by 450 strands of LED lights and 120 star ornaments.

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