The First Family lit the National Christmas Tree on Thursday night, keeping alive a tradition that dates back 90 years.
Barack Obama was joined by First lady Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha, and mother-in-law Marian Robinson on stage at the Ellipse.
"Merry Christmas, everybody," the Politico quoted Obama as saying.
The 51-year-old President started to speak again as actor Neil Patrick Harris, the ceremony's host, interrupted him. "Mrs. Obama, Mrs. Robinson, Sasha and Malia - it's great to see you all, happy holidays," Harris said.
"Happy holidays to you, Mr. President," he said.
Obama asked, "Is it time?"
Patrick responded, "I think it's time."
"I hope everybody is ready," the president said, before counting down to five as daughter Sasha took the lead in flipping the switch on the 28-foot Colorado spruce planted on the National Mall this fall.
"Beautiful!" he said, once the tree was lit. (ANI)