2012 National Christmas Tree

2012 Natl Christmas Tree Lighting

National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 6, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Ellipse in Presidents Park, Washington DC


The National Christmas Tree is a large evergreen tree located in the northeast quadrant of The Ellipse near the White House in Washington, D.C. Each year since 1923, the tree has been decorated as a Christmas tree. The grand illumination of the Christmas lights on the tree by the President of the United States early in December is an annual event. Every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has made formal remarks during the tree lighting ceremony. Since 1954, the event has marked the start of month-long festivities known as the Pageant of Peace. Smaller trees representing the U.S. states, District of Columbia, and the inhabited territories around the National Christmas Tree are referred to as the Pathway to Peace.

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Christmas_Tree_(United_States)


President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their family will officially light the National Christmas Tree at 90th annual holiday tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse in Presidents Park, on Thursday, December 6th.

Online and On-Demand
This year, experience the magic of the National Christmas Tree Lighting any time you want without ever leaving your home. Watch the pre-show and tree lighting ceremony starting at 4:30 pm ET on December 6. And following the live online stream, the show will be available anytime on-demand right here at http://www.thenationaltree.org.


In partnership with WETA, Washington, D.C.’s flagship public broadcasting station, public television stations nationwide will begin airing the 2012 National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on Friday, December 7 and continue throughout the holiday season. Viewers are invited to check for local airdates or check their local public station schedules for broadcast dates and times.

2012 National Christmas Tree Lighting Performers:

* Colbie Caillat
* James Taylor
* Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds
* Neil Patrick Harris
* Rico Rodriguez
* Evan Shinners
* The Fray
* Jason Mraz
* Ledisi
* Phillip Phillips
* U.S. Navy Band Commodores
* The Midtown Men


Find Your State Ornaments, Volunteers from across the nation have designed and created special ornaments to adorn the 56 small trees along the Christmas Pathway Of Peace: pathway-of-peace

 Send Holiday Cheer  with friends and family by sending a postcard now 


28 thoughts on “2012 National Christmas Tree

  1. WH

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:30 AM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden receive the presidential daily briefing

    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    President Obama meets with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to talk about storm recovery and federal help.

    11:30 AM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    1:35 PM
    President Obama visits a middle class family to discuss the importance of extending income tax cuts for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses
    in Northern Virginia

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their family officially light the National Christmas Tree at 90th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony Ellipse
    Presidents Park, Washington DC

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM


    Celebrating its 90th year, the ceremony is a time-honored holiday tradition which includes the illumination of the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse just south of the White House. Nationally known entertainers and a United States military band add to the celebratory evening in which the President is invited to bring a message of peace to the nation and the world. With the White House as the back drop, in what becomes the “Christmas Pathway of Peace”, the National Christmas Tree and 56 smaller trees – one for each state, five territories, and the District of Columbia – serve as the focal point of the event. The Christmas Pathway of Peace is lit each evening at dusk until 10:00 PM (ET) through January 1, 2013. Each tree is decorated with unique ornaments created by an artist and volunteers from that state, territory or District of Columbia.

    The seasonal displays this year will include a Santa’s Workshop, sponsored by UL. The Workshop will be open at select times for children to explore and get a free photo with Santa. Visit http://www.thenationaltree.org for more details including hours of operation.

    And for the 18th consecutive year, the National Christmas Tree Railroad will provide model trains that surround the base of the National Christmas Tree. The trains will run from 10:00 AM (ET) to 10:00 PM (ET) daily through January 1, 2013.

    The National Christmas Tree is also the site of nightly performances from regional performers.
    For more information on the event and to watch a live webcast of the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, please visit http://www.thenationaltree.org.


    • National Christmas Tree Preview

      Published on Dec 4, 2012 by USInterior

      Take a walk in President’s Park with Park Manager Scott Tucker, before the big event — the official lighting of the National Christmas Tree, live on the air and online Dec. 6.

    • Christmas Pathway Of Peace

      Every year one-of-a-kind ornaments are made by ordinary Americans to hang on 56 trees – one for every U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia – that surround the National Christmas Tree. Artists and volunteers have given their time and talents to design and create tree ornaments that symbolize the history, heritage and culture of their homelands.

      The 2012 ornaments will be posted soon! In the meantime, please enjoy the 2011 ornament gallery:


    • Visit Santa’s Work Shop at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C

      Uploaded by YourParks on Nov 28, 2011

      Visit the Ellipse in Washington D.C. this holiday season and you might see Santa and his elves busy making toys in their workshop.

  3. Obama leads heads of state atop Forbes 2012 power list

    Wed Dec 5, 2012 1:58pm EST By Chris Michaud – reuters


    Dec 5 (Reuters) – When it comes to power, politics trumps business, according to a new Forbes ranking on Wednesday that found heads of state occupying six of the top 10 spots among the world’s most powerful people, led by President Barack Obama.

    The annual list selected what Forbes said were the world’s 71 most-powerful people from among the roughly 7.1 billion global populace, based on factors ranging from wealth to global influence.

    Obama was joined in the top 10 by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

    The list’s highest-ranked businessman was Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at No. 4. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, both public officials, also made the top 10.

    For more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/05/powerful-forbes-idUSL1E8N4GQ520121205

  4. Jobless Claims in U.S. Decline as Sandy Effect Wanes

    Dec 6, 2012 5:37 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

    Fewer Americans than projected filed applications for unemployment benefits last week as disruptions caused by superstorm Sandy waned.

    Jobless claims decreased by 25,000 to 370,000 in the week ended Dec. 1, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 380,000. A Labor Department spokesman said there was nothing unusual in last week’s data.

    The mid-Atlantic region, which employs about 14 percent of U.S. workers, is recovering after Sandy. Apart from the storm- related damage — which may also be reflected in the November payrolls report tomorrow — employers will probably curb hiring until the risks from the global slowdown and looming U.S. fiscal tightening dissipate.

    “There are a lot of things going on that make the data less reliable,” Kevin Cummins, an economist at UBS Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, said before the report. At the same time, “there’s a lot of uncertainty heading into the fiscal cliff. It’s hard to say what the underlying trend in claims is going to be.”

    Claims dropped by almost 24,000 in New Jersey two weeks ago and by 6,682 in New York, the two states most affected by the storm, today’s report showed. The state data is reported with a one-week lag.

    One state was estimated last week after computer problems in Oklahoma prevented it from generating the data, the Labor Department spokesman said as the figures were being released to the press.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-06/jobless-claims-in-u-s-lower-than-forecast-as-storm-effect-wanes.html

    • Meeting of the President’s Export Council

      Published on Dec 7, 2012

      The President’s Export Council convenes to review and adopt a report on its activities during President Obama’s first term, take stock of the progress that has been made to implement the PEC’s previous recommendations, and highlight areas where additional action is needed. December 6, 2012.

  5. Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index

    Released On 12/6/2012 9:45:00 AM For Dec, 2012

    Consumer confidence held last week near a seven-month high as the holiday-shopping season put more Americans in the mood to spend. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index eased to minus 33.8 in the period ended December 2 from minus 33.0 the prior week.

    he Bloomberg comfort index’s buying climate gauge improved to minus 33.4, the strongest since November 2007, from minus 35.4 the previous week. The personal finances index dropped to minus 6.6 from minus 4.4 the prior week.

    The barometer measuring Americans’ views on the state of the economy fell to minus 61.5 from minus 59.2 the prior period. Nonetheless, the share of consumers giving the economy the worst rating of “poor,” fell to 34 percent, the fewest in almost five years.

    The comfort index last week was 16.5 points better than it was during this period last year. The gauge in 2012 has averaged minus 38.6 and is on track for its best annual showing in five years.

    Key measures of consumer confidence have improved recently and suggest that consumer spending may be relatively healthy this holiday season.

    Source: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=451247&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2012&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  6. Obama to promote fiscal cliff plan with Va. family

    12/6/12 By By JIM KUHNHENN | Associated Press – 2 hrs 38 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is showcasing a northern Virginia family to highlight his call for extending current tax rates to all but the top 2 percent of earners.

    Obama wants to keep up pressure on Republicans as a year-end deadline for avoiding a so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts draws near. He will travel to a Virginia suburb of Washington on Thursday.
    Obama spoke with Republican House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday, signaling the possible start of fresh talks to avoid the fiscal cliff.

    Despite the entreaty, Obama was not cutting back on a public campaign to pressure Republicans into accepting rate hikes for wealthier Americans. Republicans say they are willing to raise revenues but want to do it by closing loopholes and limiting deductions on the rich.

  7. Sen. DeMint, tea party leader, resigning

    12/6/12 10:47 AM EST By MANU RAJU – POLITICO

    Sen. Jim DeMint abruptly announced plans to resign his South Carolina Senate seat to run the conservative Heritage Foundation, a stunning move that could have repercussions in the chamber and in Senate GOP primaries across the country.

    The tea party leader made the announcement that he’d replace Ed Feulner as president of the Heritage Foundation in January.

    For more: http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/jim-demint-retires-to-head-heritage-foundation-84687.html?hp=t1

  8. The 2012 White House Holiday Card

    Lea Prohov December 06, 2012 10:51 AM EST


    The 2012 White House Holiday Card, designed by artist Larassa Kabel.

    The 2012 White House Holiday card has arrived. And this year’s card spotlights the beloved First Family’s dog, Bo.

    The card was designed by Larassa Kabel, a professional artist from Des Moines, Iowa. Ms. Kabel has been creating photorealistic prints, paintings and drawings for the past 8 years and was featured as a solo artist in the Des Moines Art Center’s Iowa Artist Show in 2009, the Iowa Artist 2010 group show and many other solo and group shows in Iowa, Michigan, Texas, Florida and New York. Her work is in several private and corporate collections including Aviva, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the World Food Prize headquarters. She also has a much-loved dog at home, which is why she chose to feature Bo in this year’s White House Holiday card.

    To learn more:

    * Photo Gallery: First Lady Tribute Ornaments
    * Joy to All: First Lady Michelle Obama Previews the 2012 White House Holiday Decor
    * Bo Inspects the 2012 White House Holiday Decorations

  9. 11:00 AM ET
    President Obama meets with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to talk about storm recovery and federal help.

  10. 1:35 PM ET
    President Obama visits a middle class family to discuss the importance of extending income tax cuts for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses
    in Northern Virginia

    • Why President Obama Is Visiting Tiffany’s Family Today

      Megan Slack December 06, 2012 0:00 PM EST

      Last week, President Obama called on Americans to speak out about what a $2,000 tax hike next year would mean for them and their families – and thousands of people from around the country are doing just that.

      We’ve heard from more than 370,000 people in all 50 states, and many say that paying $2,000 more in taxes would force families to make some tough choices about their household budgets. For some, it might mean deciding whether to buy groceries or fill a prescription. For others, it would be the difference in making rent or paying tuition.

      Tiffany, who lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, seven-year old son, and parents, is one of the many people who wrote in. The “picture of the 21st middle class,” her family decided on their multi-generation blended living situation to save money and spend more time together.

      But with two sets of working adults – a teacher and an auto industry worker, and a child-care provider and postal worker –Tiffany said that her household would be doubly affected by a tax hike. And as a family of budding entrepreneurs, they would have less money to get their new businesses off the ground.

      Today, President Obama will meet Tiffany and her family in their home, to talk more about how why it’s so important for Congress to pass the middle-class tax cuts before the end of the year, both for families like hers and our economy.

      READ MORE: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/12/06/why-president-obama-visiting-tiffanys-family-today

    • December 06, 2012

      Remarks by the President on Preventing an Income Tax Increase on the Middle Class

      Private Residence
      Northern Virginia

      2:40 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, I want to, first of all, just thank Tiffany and Richard, Jimmie and Velma for opening up their beautiful home to us. The reason that we’re here is because Tiffany is one of the people who responded to My2K.

      As many of you know, we asked folks all across the country to talk a little bit about what would it mean if their income taxes went up in 2013, and Tiffany, who is a high school teacher, responded. Her husband, Richard, works at a Toyota dealership. They actually live with Tiffany’s parents, both of whom are still working. And so what Tiffany pointed out was that an increase of $2,000 or so for her and her husband in this household would actually mean $4,000 that was lost. And a couple of thousand dollars means a couple months’ rent for this family.

      And the story they tell about working hard, my understanding is they’re interested in starting a business as well as the work that they currently do. They’ve got dreams and ambitions. They’ve got a beautiful 6-year-old son, Noah, who’s back with great-grandma. And they’re keeping it together, they’re working hard, they’re meeting their responsibilities.

      For them to be burdened unnecessarily because Democrats and Republicans aren’t coming together to solve this problem gives you a sense of the costs involved in very personal terms. Obviously, it would also have an impact on our economy, because if this family has a couple of thousand dollars less to spend, that translates into $200 billion of less consumer spending next year. And that’s bad for businesses large and small. It’s bad for our economy. It means less folks are being hired, and we can be back in a downward spiral instead of the kind of virtuous cycle that we want to see.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/06/remarks-president-preventing-income-tax-increase-middle-class

  11. Pelosi Rips House GOP for Breaking

    12/6/12 By John Parkinson | ABC OTUS News – 1 hr 51 mins ago

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today ripped House Republicans for scheduling a five-day break amid the ” fiscal cliff” debate, asking why the chamber is not in session “trying to build confidence” and “find common ground” with only 26 days left until a mix of steep tax hikes and spending cuts take effect.

    “Here we are, Thursday in December. The talk around here is what’s going on at the negotiating table. Is anything going on at the negotiating table?” Pelosi, D-Calif., wondered at her weekly news conference. “I can’t even explain to my constituents why Congress isn’t in session now trying to at least build bridges of understanding and representing.”

    The GOP-controlled House concluded legislative business Wednesday afternoon after a light floor schedule this week. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor cancelled one day of legislative business previously scheduled for today, and also cut next Friday from the calendar. Cantor, however, announced Wednesday that he has added an unspecified number of days to the legislative calendar the week of Dec. 17.

    “I’m really surprised that the Republicans would leave,” Pelosi said. “With all that needs to be done, [are House Republicans] avoiding the conversation? Sounds like people don’t want to be in town for some reason.”

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/pelosi-rips-house-gop-breaking-brink-fiscal-cliff-192724450–abc-news-politics.html

    • December 06, 2012

      Remarks by the President at the National Christmas Tree Lighting

      Washington, D.C.

      6:30 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Merry Christmas, everybody! (Applause.) Michelle told me to be brief because she wants to hear music. (Laughter.)

      Thank you, Secretary Salazar, for that generous introduction and for your dedication to protecting our natural resources. I want to thank Neil Mulholland and the whole National Park Foundation and the National Park Service team for helping to put on this beautiful production.

      Let’s give a big hand to Neil Patrick Harris — (applause) — and this evening’s performers for putting on a fantastic show. And I want to also thank all of you for joining us to celebrate this great American tradition.

      As has been mentioned, we’ve been lighting the National Christmas Tree for 90 years now. In times of war and peace, triumph and tragedy, we’ve always come together to rejoice in the Christmas miracle. But our tree has been having a hard time recently — this is our third one in as many years. Our longstanding tree was lost in a storm, and then its replacement didn’t take hold. It just goes to show, nobody’s job is safe here in Washington. (Laughter.) But I feel good about this one. It was planted just days before Hurricane Sandy, and it made it through the storm in one piece.

      Now, we know that some of our neighbors to the north saw a more ruthless and destructive Sandy. And this holiday season is especially difficult for families who lost everything in the storm. But it’s also a time for us to be grateful for the heroism and perseverance of ordinary men and women in the storm’s path who’ve showed us that Americans will always be stronger than the challenges that we face. And as I did before Thanksgiving, I can’t help but tell a story of their enduring holiday spirit.

      This evening, in Midland Beach, New York, on a street lined with houses and businesses devastated by the storm, a great big Christmas tree shines out of the darkness. Just a couple of weeks ago, as impacted families were still seeking some sense of getting back to normal, one local nursery donated the tree, another chipped in for the lights and a star, and 70-year-old Tom Killeen and his longtime buddies from the area planted it at the end of the street, overlooking the town beach. As Tom says, the tree has one message: “It’s Christmas time, not disaster time.”

      And Tom is right. For centuries, the message of Christmas — of peace and goodwill to all — has guided millions of people around the world through good times but also through bad times. This year is no different. It’s a chance for all of us to open our hearts to the least fortunate among us. It’s a chance to remember what Christ taught us — that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive, and that the simplest gifts bring the greatest joy. And it’s a chance to count our blessings and give thanks to those outstanding service members who bravely defend them.

      For Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs, may this holiday season remind us of the spirit of brotherhood and generosity that unites us as citizens. And may every tree from Midland Beach to this Ellipse and all across the country shine as a beacon of hope for all Americans.

      So on behalf of Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Grandma and Bo, I’d like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and joyful holiday season.

      God bless you, and God bless America. (Applause.)

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/06/remarks-president-national-christmas-tree-lighting

  12. December 06, 2012

    Statement by the President on the Passage of H.R. 6156

    I commend the House and Senate for working on a bipartisan basis to pass legislation to end the application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to Russia and Moldova, allowing me to extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations to both countries. I look forward to receiving and signing this legislation.

    The legislation will ensure that American businesses and workers are able to take full advantage of the WTO rules and market access commitments that the United States worked so hard to negotiate. We are also one step closer to realizing job-creating export opportunities and leveling the playing field for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and service providers. My Administration will continue to work with Congress and our partners to support those seeking a free and democratic future for Russia and promote the rule of law and respect for human rights around the world.

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