Trump lights National Christmas Tree

A wide shot of the crowd at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 30 2017

According to the White House Historical Association, "The White House at Christmas traditionally has been a magical place for children", and this year that tradition continued as the First Lady welcomed children of military service members to the White House to make Christmas wreaths.

And Mrs. Trump didn't have to do all the decorating by herself.

During his campaign, Trump had promised that, when he was elected, people would be saying "Merry Christmas again", a reference to what he characterized as the country's obsession with political correctness. "Melania Trump tweeted, "@WhiteHouse is ready to celebrate! Grover Cleveland was the first to use electric lights on a family Christmas tree, in 1894.

Christmas is finally taking over the White House lawn this week as the President and First Lady took part in lighting the National Christmas tree. It is set near the White house.

That's a change from the Obama years when the annual cards offered more generic sentiments of "Season's Greetings" or wishes for happy holidays.

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Former US President Ulysses S. Grant signed legislation marking Christmas as a national holiday.

New this year are wreaths hanging from the exterior of every window. The dancers echoed the first themed Christmas at the White House, Jacqueline Kennedy's "Nutcracker Suite" in 1961.

Among the Christmas, standards are an 18-by-6-foot (5.5-by-1.8-meter) Balsam fir from Wisconsin in the traditional spot in the Blue Room, decorated with ornaments bearing the seals of every state and USA territory.

The holiday celebrating begins later Monday with a party for the volunteer decorators and will continue well into December with receptions and parties - sometimes two a day - for the next several weeks.

They used about 12,000 ornaments, more than 1,000 feet of garland, and 53 Christmas trees to create this year's festive look.

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