President Obama Lights the National Christmas Tree


Uploaded by whitehouse on 09.12.2010

Transcript:
The President: Merry Christmas, everybody!
Audience: Merry Christmas!
The President: Happy holidays.
We are just thrilled to have all of you here.
Thank you, Secretary Salazar, for the kind introduction and
for all that you're doing to protect our national parks and
our public lands for the future generations.
I also want to recognize Neil Mulholland and everyone at the
National Park Foundation and at the National Park Service who
helped put this event together.
I want to thank Pastor Darrell Morton for that wonderful
invocation, and of course, thanks to Common and all of
tonight's performers for joining us here as we light the National
Christmas Tree for the 88th time.
(applause)
Now this is a very proud holiday tradition.
Snow or shine, in good times and in periods of hardship,
folks like you have gathered with Presidents to light our
national tree.
Now, it hasn't always gone off without a hitch.
On one occasion, two sheep left the safety of the Nativity scene
and wandered into rush-hour traffic.
(laughter)
That caused some commotion.
(laughter)
Often, the ceremony itself has reflected the pain and sacrifice
of the times.
There were years during the Second World War when no lights
were hung in order to save electricity.
In the days following Pearl Harbor,
Winston Churchill joined President Roosevelt to wish our
nation a Happy Christmas even in such perilous days.
But without fail, each year, we have gathered here.
Each year we've come together to celebrate a story that has
endured for two millennia.
It's a story that's dear to Michelle and me as Christians,
but it's a message that's universal: A child was born far
from home to spread a simple message of love and redemption
to every human being around the world.
It's a message that says no matter who we are or where we
are from, no matter the pain we endure or the wrongs we face,
we are called to love one another as brothers and as sisters.
And so during a time in which we try our hardest to live with a
spirit of charity and goodwill, we remember our brothers and
sisters who have lost a job or are struggling to make ends meet.
We pray for the men and women in uniform serving in Afghanistan
and Iraq and in faraway places who can't be home this holiday season.
And we thank their families, who will mark this Christmas with an
empty seat at the dinner table.
On behalf of Malia, Sasha, Michelle, Marian --
who's our Grandmother-in-Chief --
(laughter)
-- and Bo -- don't forget Bo --
(applause)
-- I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season.
And now I'm going to invite the entire Obama crew up here to
help me light this Christmas tree.
(applause)
All right, everybody, we're going to count from five --
five, four, three, two, one.
(the tree is lit)
(applause)
Announcer: Here with a holiday classic, please welcome the incomparable
First Lady, Michelle Obama!
(applause and cheering)
Mrs. Obama: All right, you guys, you ready for the story?
Children: Yes.
Mrs. Obama: All right, here we go.
"'Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
When out on the lawn there arose such a --"
I skipped a page --
(laughter)
Wait -- "The children were nestled all snug in their beds --"
(laughter)
Did I skip another page?
(laughter)
Okay, here we go.
There we go.
(cheering)
We're ready.
The First Lady is taking off her gloves.
(laughter)
Ready?
"The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled down for a long winter's nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave the lustre
of midday to objects below, when,
what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
'Now, Dasher!
Now, Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet!
On, Cupid!
On, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away!
Dash away!
Dash away all!'
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
with a sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof the prancing
and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled!
His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know I
had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod,
up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
'Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!'"
(applause)
Santa: Ho, ho, ho!
Mrs. Obama: Oh, that's him, right there.
Santa: Yes, yes, that's exactly how I remember it!
Ho, ho!
Mrs. Obama: Listen.
Who is that?
Do you hear that?
Children: Santa Claus!
Mrs. Obama: I think -- I think I hear Santa.
Santa: Hello! Ho!
I hope you don't mind, I was just keeping your seat warm.
Mrs. Obama: Thank you, Santa.
Santa: But it gave us a chance to go over your Christmas list.
(laughter)
I have it on good authority that you've been nice this year.
That was a wonderful reading.
Wasn't that wonderful?
Yes.
(cheering)
Ho, ho, ho, ho!
You know, there's only one part of that story I don't like so much.
I never thought my belly shook like a bowl full of jelly.
I always thought this suit made me look rather slim, yes?
No?
But what a wonderful reading!
Wonderful!
Wonderful!
Yeah.
Ho, ho, ho!
It's wonderful!
It's a wonderful season!
You know what?
I think I feel a song coming on.
Yes?
What do you say?
♪♪(music playing)♪♪
♪ It's the most wonderful time of the year ♪
♪ With the kids jingle-belling ♪
♪ And everyone telling you ♪
♪ Be of good cheer ♪
♪ It's the most wonderful time of the year ♪
♪ It's the hap-happiest season of all ♪
♪ With those great happy meetings ♪
♪ And wonderful greetings when friends come to call ♪
♪ It's the hap-happiest season of all ♪
♪ There'll be parties for hosting ♪
♪ Marshmallows for toasting ♪
♪ And caroling out in the snow ♪
♪ There'll be scary ghost stories ♪
♪ And tales of the glories ♪
♪ Of Christmases long, long ago ♪
♪ It's the most wonderful time of the year ♪
♪ There'll be much mistletoe-ing ♪
♪ And hearts will be glowing ♪
♪ When loved ones are near ♪
♪ It's the most wonderful time of the year ♪
Ho, ho!
Oh, wonderful!
Yes!
Hello, everyone!
Hello, there!
It's so good to see you!
I'll be back in a few weeks!
Ho, ho, ho!
Oh, yes!
Hello over there!
♪ There'll be parties for hosting ♪
♪ Marshmallows for toasting ♪
♪ And caroling out in the snow ♪
♪ There'll be scary ghost stories ♪
♪ And tales of the glories ♪
♪ Of Christmases long, long ago ♪
♪ It's the most wonderful time of the year ♪
♪ There'll be much mistletoe-ing ♪
♪ And hearts will be glowing ♪
♪ When loved ones are near ♪
♪ It's the most wonderful time ♪
♪ It's the most wonderful time ♪
♪ It's the most wonderful time of the year! ♪
Ho, ho, ho, ho!
Merry Christmas!
Ho, ho, yes!
Ho, ho, ho, ho!