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U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and first daughters Sasha and Malia kicked off the holiday season on Thursday (December 6) with the lighting of the National Christmas Tree.
Obama led the the audience in a count down from five before flipping the switch.
The lighting of the tree was part of a televised event hosted by Actor Neil Patrick Harris. The program included entertainment by celebrities like singer Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, "American Idol" Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips and the musical band "The Fray". Obama also joined his celebrity guests in singing the popular Christmas song, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."
The lighting of the National Christmas Tree is a tradition that dates back to 1923.