President and Melania Trump Lit the National Christmas Tree And, Um, Not A Lot of People Showed Up

The tree was gold, naturally.


After debuting their first White House Christmas decorations earlier this week, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump lit the National Christmas Tree at the White House Thursday night.

The tree lighting has been an event that President Trump has been looking forward to "ALL YEAR LONG," according to a tweet from him that evening.


"We want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, have unbelievable holidays, and we are now going to light a very beautiful tree," Trump said. "And I'll ask our first lady to get ready and maybe we'll do a countdown from 10."


After Melania pressed the button to light up the tree in thousands of gold twinkle lights, the National Christmas Tree Lighting co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Dean Cain introduced performances from musical groups including Mannheim Steamroller, The Beach Boys, Wynonna and other many others.


Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were there with their children, along with Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

"On behalf of Melania, myself, Barron, all of my children, all of my grandchildren—they're here with us tonight—I want to thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much, merry Christmas, everybody," Trump said.

A photo from the lighting later went viral on Twitter, showing large sections of empty seats:

But this isn't the inauguration all over again, OK? Free tickets are given out to the event each year through a lottery system, but the National Park Service explained to Fox 5 that no-shows are common for this event. Because tickets are distributed to people around the country, many of those picked are unable to make it to D.C. for the event, the National Park Service explained. In fact, of the 20,000 tickets distributed, only 12,000 to 15,000 people attend each year on average.

If you look at this photo of the 2015 National Tree Lighting Ceremony, you can see that unfilled seats are indeed a common sight at these events.

From: Cosmopolitan
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