Lucky Star


01_attachment-1 nctl-0033On December 1, for the eighth—and final—time, Barack Obama, accompanied by his immediate family, will preside over the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. If you were not among the lucky few to snag free tickets to attend the event—with performances by pop star Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper, gospel singer Yolanda Adams and others—in a recent national lottery, you can watch the festivities the following night on the Hallmark Channel. Additionally, through January 1, you can ogle the towering spruce in person, plus see 56 smaller ornament-bedecked trees (representing the 50 states, D.C. and U.S. territories—each individually decorated) that surround it on the curiously named Pathway of Peace, all of it located on the Ellipse, just south of the White House. Not forgetting a model train layout, a Santa’s Workshop straight outta Restoration Hardware, a burning Yule log (!) and, somewhat confoundingly for a government function, a Nativity scene featuring the other First Family: Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, angels and the Magi. (The ACLU frowns upon this last bit.) Choirs, bands and dancers provide live entertainment each evening from December 9 to 22. Through January 1. Free.

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