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Biden Counts Down Christmas Tree Lighting at White House

US President Joe Biden brought some holiday spirit to Washington on the night of November 30, at the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Biden and First Lady Jill Biden took to the stage in front of a crowd at President’s Park, on the south side of the White House.

“Merry Christmas, everyone,” Biden said after he switched on the lights. “This is a great tradition.”

This year’s tree is a 40-foot Norway spruce from West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest. Credit: The White House via Storyful

Video transcript

JOE BIDEN: You got the button? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. All right, you got it.

JILL BIDEN: Merry Christmas, everyone.

JOE BIDEN: Merry Christmas, everybody. Jill and I are honored to welcome you. [INAUDIBLE].

[BAND PLAYING]

Again, Merry Christmas everyone. Have a seat, if you'd like. Jill and I are honored to welcome you to the National Christmas Tree Lighting, thanks to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and the National Park Service Foundation. They're the ones doing this. And a special Thanks to the night's host Mickey and all those incredible performers we have here tonight.

This is a great tradition one as has been pointed out already we've honored over 100 years, where presidents and the people come together to usher in the holiday season. Earlier this week, Jill and I announced the theme, Jill announced the theme, of this year's holiday at the White House-- magic, wonder, and joy, three words that capture the essence of Christmas and the holidays, to rediscover for ourselves the simple joys of the season, from familiar songs to favorite recipes, to open the hearts with the simple acts of kindness, especially to those going through hard times, and to strengthen the bonds with family and friends, as well as with our faith and our community, to remember we're a great nation, because we're a good people. That's what I see all across America, including tonight.

Joining us are 43 members of Team USA, who represented our nation at the Invictus Games this past September. Give them a hand. Jill and Prince Harry went to the first Invictus Games in '14. And the Invictus Games and Ontario, I was there in '16, Toronto. Anyway, there's been great effort that we've seen, and these athletes were incredible.

Wounded Warriors from service branches every service branch is the essence of who we are as Americans-- we look to one another and we look out for one another. We leave no one behind. And for our best, we are united at our best, and we're United States of America. We began another holiday season. Let's remember how blessed we are as Americans for the gift that is our nation.

So Merry Christmas, America. May God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. Merry, Merry Christmas.

[BAND PLAYING]