PHOTOS: The Best Moments from the Obama Family's Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
Tonight marks the end of an era: It’s the last-ever Christmas tree lighting ceremony of the Obama administration.
For the past seven years, we’ve celebrated the holidays with our first family—standing by to witness every laugh, sing-along, read-aloud, and celebrity run-in at the annual ceremony.
We’ve watched Sasha and Malia Obama grow up, and we’ve tracked the ebb and flow of President Obama’s relationship with Santa, every moment bathed in the glow of the holiday season (and, um, the massive tree towering over the ceremony).
The tradition began back in 1923 under the leadership of President Calvin Coolidge and has flourished ever since—tonight marks the 94th National Tree Lighting Ceremony.
In celebration of the soon-to-be eight Christmas tree lightings led by the Obama family, we’ve gathered the event’s best moments throughout the years. (SPOILER ALERT: At least one involves Mariah Carey.)
VIDEO: Inside the Obama Family's Kalorama Home
Enjoy, and make sure to stream tonight's ceremony online at 4:30 p.m. EST.
President Obama waves to the crowd at his first ever National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
The Obama family delivers a warm welcome.
The First Family gets excited for the big event.
Sasha and President Obama chat with Santa in the audience.
Obama and his daughters share a laugh in the crowd.
The First Lady reads The Night Before Christmas with a little help from some adorable friends.
The Obamas enjoy their time together at the administration's third tree lighting.
Sasha, First Lady Michelle, and President Obama celebrate the holiday season with pals Kermit the frog, Carson Daly, and (of course!) Santa.
The Obama fam shares a smile amidst the holiday festivities.
The Obamas are joined on stage by Neil Patrick Harris and Modern Family's Rico Rodriguez.
FLOTUS and the Modern Family star bond over story time.
Michelle, Sasha, Malia, Barack, NPH, and Rico share a moment in front of the tree.
President Obama greets a young elf.
President Obama meets Mariah Carey's daughter, Monroe.
The Obamas celebrate another year of holiday bliss.
The President shows off his vocals onstage with family and friends.
The President gets his groove on with Santa.
The Obamas kick off the season alongside Tom Hanks.
The First Family grins in anticipation of the evening's events.
President Obama displays his love of Santa once more.
The Obamas sing out alongside Reese Witherspoon.