Bidens set to attend National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony


Washington (CNN)The first family and the second family are set to attend the National Christmas Tree lighting outside the White House Thursday afternoon.

The event, taking place on the Ellipse, will mark the first tree lighting since President Joe Biden took office. Biden and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland are scheduled to speak at the ceremony.

The event is the latest evidence that the holiday season at the White House is in full swing.

    First lady Jill Biden recieved the White House Christmas tree last week, and the tree selected this year is an 18-and-a-half-foot Fraser fir that hails from Peak Farms of Jefferson, North Carolina.

      On Monday, the White House revealed its holiday decorations. The theme selected by the first lady is “Gifts from the Heart” and is more subdued than previous decorations over the years.

          The display is Biden’s nod to tradition, and carrying on with personal touchstones, even as the country feels the impact of change and loss due to the ravages of Covid-19, East Wing communications director Elizabeth Alexander told CNN earlier this week.

          On Wednesday, the first and second couple attended a Hanukkah menorah lighting ceremony inside the White House. Second gentleman Doug Emhoff’s attendance marked the first time there was a Jewish spouse of a US president or a vice president at the ceremony.

            CNN’s Kate Bennett contributed to this report.