First Lady Melania Trump and son, Barron welcome White House Christmas tree First lady Melania Trump and her son Barron Trump, look at the Wisconsin-grown Christmas Tree at the North Portico of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
First Lady Melania Trump and son, Barron welcome White House Christmas tree
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First Lady Melania Trump welcomed the official White House Christmas tree November 20. She was joined by son Barron. It is a time-honored tradition. 

A military quartet played holiday tunes. A horse-drawn wagon carried the tree. It went from Wisconsin up the White House driveway. It is 19 1/2-feet. It is Balsam fir.

The first lady wore a red turtleneck. She also wore a coat. It was draped over her shoulders. Eleven-year-old Barron wore a dark suit coat. He wore a white shirt. And he wore dark slacks. They circled the tree. Then they visited with growers Jim and Diane Chapman. The Chapmans own a Wisconsin Christmas tree farm. They won an annual contest. It was sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association.

"This is a beautiful tree. Thank you so much. We will decorate it very nicely." That's what 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 picked out the tree. They chose it during a September scouting trip.  

Mrs. Trump and Barron gave their symbolic approval. Then the tree was carefully taken off the wagon. It was taken to the Blue Room. It took center stage there. That happened after a slight trim. It went up after the removal of a huge chandelier.

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." 

Invitations to dozens of holiday parties hosted by the Trumps are going out. The subject line of one emailed invite references a White House "Christmas reception." But the language of the invitation itself refers to a "holiday reception."

The tree for the Blue Room usually arrives the day after Thanksgiving. But it was delivered early this year. This was to accommodate the Trumps. They spent the holiday at their Mar-a-Lago estate. It is in Palm Beach. That is in Florida.

A small army of volunteer decorators and florists from around the country came to the White House. They spent the holiday weekend transforming the 132-room mansion for Christmas. There is a tree in every public room. 

The White House kitchens will go into overdrive. They will be preparing all the food that is served at the parties. Those foods include cakes. It includes cookies.  And it includes pies. 

There is also a gingerbread White House. But it is never eaten. This is for health reasons. In recent years, cookies were made in the image of former President Barack Obama's dogs Bo and Sunny. Those were always among the first items to be slipped into purses for the trip home.

Trump does not have a pet.

The White House unveiled the holiday decor on November 27. The first lady also welcomed children and students from Joint Base Andrews. They came for a holiday arts and crafts event. The president lit the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse. This happened on November 30.

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