President Donald Trump has been eagerly waiting to celebrate a Trump Christmas at the White House. During last year’s presidential campaign, he railed against the habit of saying “Happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” characterizing it as a “chipping away at Christianity.”
Melania Trump and son Barron joined in a time-honored tradition of receiving the official White House Christmas tree, which will become the showstopper for a president who has vowed to put Christmas back at the center of the winter holidays.
A military quartet played holiday tunes Monday as a horse-drawn wagon carried the 19 1/2-foot Balsam fir from Wisconsin up the White House driveway.
The first lady, wearing a red turtleneck and a coat draped over her shoulders, and 11-year-old Barron, in a dark suit coat, white shirt and dark slacks, circled the tree and then visited with growers Jim and Diane Chapman. The Chapmans own a Wisconsin Christmas tree farm and won an annual contest sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association.
“This is a beautiful tree. Thank you so much. We will decorate it very nicely,” the first lady told the Chapmans and other family members. “I hope you can come and visit with us.”
The White House grounds superintendent and the chief usher, who oversees the residence, picked out the tree during a September scouting trip.
After Mrs. Trump and Barron gave their symbolic approval, the tree was carefully carted off to the Blue Room where, after a slight trim and the removal of a monstrous chandelier, it will take center stage.