The Obamas' Last Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Was Delightful — Here Are All Its Best Moments
Pictures rolled out this week of the Trumps' Christmas decorations at the White House, reminding us that its annual Christmas tree lighting is coming up. While decked out with a nativity set next to George Washington's portrait and a giant gingerbread White House, the President's Park is where the action will be happening on Thursday evening. The first family will light the National Christmas Tree and in the 95th year of this presidential tradition, there will no doubt be comparisons to the Obamas' Christmas tree lighting ceremony in 2016.
"It's like a Christmas edition of Lollapalooza," then President Obama quipped at last year's star-studded yuletide event that featured performances by Chance the Rapper, Kelly Clarkson, The Lumineers, Garth Brooks, Marc Anthony, gospel singer Yolanda Williams, and five-time Grammy winner James Taylor. Actress Eva Longoria hosted the holiday celebration and the Christmas tree lighting also marked the end of an era. Had eight years gone by so quickly?
This year, the Christmas tree lighting line-up will feature The Beach Boys, who had considered performing at the Trump inauguration. If you're feeling nostalgic and want a merry little pick-me-up, take a stroll down memory lane and remember your favorite moments from the Obamas' last Christmas tree lighting.
When Sasha Obama Lip Synched To Chance The Rapper
President Obama's daughters seem to share some taste in music with their dad. Malia has been spotted wearing a Pro Era T-shirt, reppin' the Joey Bada$$ hip hop collective, and Drake once gave a shoutout to Sasha.
So when Chance the Rapper — who is a family friend of the Obamas — took to the stage to perform "Sunday Candy," Sasha racked up even more cool points by mouthing the lyrics. And yes, Sasha knew all the words.
When Obama Rocked The Scarf And Blankie Look
Obama looked cozy, Christmas appropriate, and like hygge personified as he braved the New England winter with a red lap blanket. Scarf and blankie game: A+.
When Michelle Obama Read A Christmas Story With An Olympic Gold Medalist
Michelle Obama continued the tradition of reading her favorite Christmas story, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and this time, American Olympic swimmer Simone Manuel joined Michelle. Manuel made history in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio by becoming the first female African-American to win a gold medal in swimming.
When The Crowd Began Chanting "Four More Years"
Eva Longoria coyly asked from the stage if Obama wanted to stick around. And like an audience chanting for an encore at a concert, the crowd broke into a chant: "Four more years! Four more years!"
When Country Music Showed Up
For a while, it seemed like politics was a taboo topic in the country music scene. In the lead up to Trump's election, much of the country music industry, including Garth Brooks, remained silent — possibly in fear of their fans turning on them (à la Dixie Chicks in the George W. Bush era).
But Brooks, a Republican, had also revealed himself as an Obama supporter. He and his wife, Trisha Yearwood, performed with James and Kim Taylor at Obama's last Christmas tree lighting ceremony in a show of thanks to his eight years of service.
When Everyone Started Singing "Jingle Bells"
No cheesy Christmas celebration is without a group sing-along to a classic like "Jingle Bells." Except this sing-along starred Barack Obama surrounded by celebrities.
When Obama Told Us To Take Care Of Each Other
In his opening remarks at his last Christmas tree lighting, Obama tugged on heartstrings as he spoke about the "big-hearted and hopeful and resilient people who look out for each other and who have each other’s backs." He told us "to care for the sick, and the hungry, and the downtrodden."
For the immigrants and refugees striving for an American ideal, for the troops serving us from afar during the holidays, for the parents who want to give their children a better shot, Obama reminded us to take care of each other for the greater good. Cheers to that.