This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

Washington got a little more festive last night as President Obama and his family led the annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree. 

Before shifting to a more festive tone, President Obama took a moment to acknowledge Wednesday's shooting in San Bernardino. 

"Now, this is, of course, the most wonderful time of the year. But we would be remiss not to take a moment to remember our fellow Americans whose hearts are heavy tonight—who grieve for loved ones, especially in San Bernardino, California," said the president

The event, hosted by actress Reese Witherspoon, included musical performances by jazz musician Trombone Shorty; Crosby, Stills, and Nash; Tori Kelly; Fall Out Boy; Joyous String Ensemble; and the United States Coast Guard Band. Miss Piggy was also present to read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas with first lady Michelle Obama. 

This is the 93rd Christmas tree to sit in the president's backyard and has come a long with since it first became a staple during the Coolidge administration. Since 2008, the tree has been lit by energy-efficient LED lights, which use 50 percent less energy than the previously used lights. 

President Obama, center, waves to the crowd as he walks off the stage with his daughter Malia, left, during the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at the Ellipse in Washington on Thursday. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
The first family from right, first lady Michelle Obama, Michelle's mother Marian Robinson, Sasha Obama, Malia Obama, and President Barack Obama, take to the stage to sing with National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony performers and participants at the end of the show. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
From left, Stephen Stills, members of the Joyous String Quartet, Graham Nash, Miss Piggy, Santa, President Obama, Andra Day, and Aloe Blacc gather on stage during the ceremony. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews performs during the ceremony. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
First lady Michelle Obama with Miss Piggy, left, read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas for children on stage during the ceremony. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Obama and Miss Piggy onstage during the ceremony. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Singers Andra Day, left, and Aloe Blacc perform onstage. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Members of the Joyous String Ensemble perform onstage. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Actress Bellamy Young performs on stage with the United States Coast Guard Band. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Obama returns a salute from members of the military as he walks off the stage with his daughter Sasha and his mother-in-law Marian Robinson. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
From right, President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Michelle's mother Marian Robinson, and daughters Sasha and Malia sit together during the ceremony. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
First lady Michelle Obama and Miss Piggy read "The Night Before Christmas" to children on stage. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Members of the band Fall Out Boy perform. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Obama, leans to talk with his daughters Malia, left, Sasha, second from left, and first lady Michelle Obama's mother Marian Robinson. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
First lady Michelle Obama, with Miss Piggy, reads 'Twas the Night Before Christmas for children on stage. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Obama with Santa Claus and other performers sing on stage. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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