Remarks by President Obama at Lighting of National Christmas Tree

Remarks by President Obama at Lighting of National Christmas Tree


The President:
Hello, everybody! (applause) Happy Holidays! You know my crew, Malia,
Sasha, Michelle, Grandma. Happy Holidays to Reese,
and everyone here tonight, and everyone
watching at home. Now, let’s begin the process
of lighting the tree. (applause) We got a countdown going on,
we’re going to start at 5, here we go. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. (applause) Merry Christmas, everybody! (music) Mrs. Obama: Well,
hello there. Miss Piggy: Hello,
hello Michelle. Mrs. Obama: Hi, Miss Piggy. How are you? Miss Piggy: Good. Well, you look fabulous. Mrs. Obama: Thank
you, so do you. You look amazing. Miss Piggy: Almost as
fabulous as me, yes. Mrs. Obama: Yes. Miss Piggy: Yes, I
was going to say that. Mrs. Obama: You look great. Miss Piggy: And
you know what? It’s all thanks to your
Let’s Move campaign. I’ve been working out. Mrs. Obama: That’s good. Miss Piggy: Eating healthy. Mrs. Obama: That’s good. Well, I’m very proud
of you, Miss Piggy. Miss Piggy: Yeah. But you are going to have
cake later at this event, right? Mrs. Obama: We’ll
just skip that. Miss Piggy: Alright. Mrs. Obama: But now we’re
going to read a story here. You guys ready for that? Audience: Yes. Mrs. Obama: Alright. Are you ready, Miss Piggy? Miss Piggy: Oh, I am. Yes. Mrs. Obama: Okay. We’re going to read ” ‘Twas
the Night Before Christmas.” Are you ready? Miss Piggy: Yes,
let’s start. Go ahead. Mrs. Obama: ‘Twas the
night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; Miss Piggy: The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas
soon would be there; Mrs. Obama: The children
were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of
sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her
‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains
for a long winter’s nap, Miss Piggy: When out on
the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my
bed to see what was the matter. Mrs. Obama: Away to the
window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters
and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast
of the new-fallen snow, Gave a lustre of midday
to objects below, Miss Piggy: When what to my
wondering eyes did appear, But a miniature sleigh
and eight tiny rein-deer, Mrs. Obama: With a little
old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment
he must be St. Nick. Miss Piggy: More rapid than
eagles his coursers they came, And he
whistled, and shouted, and called them by
name: “Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!” Mrs. Obama: Excellent
ready, Miss Piggy. Miss Piggy: Thank you. Mrs. Obama: “To the
top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!” As leaves that before
the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an
obstacle, mount to the sky; Miss Piggy: You’re
not bad either. Mrs. Obama: Thank you. Miss Piggy: So up to the
housetop the coursers they flew With the
sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too — Mrs. Obama: And then, in a twinkling, I heard on
the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head,
and was turning around, Down the chimney St.
Nicholas came with a bound. Miss Piggy: He was
dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with
ashes and soot; Mrs. Obama: A bundle of toys
he had flung on his back, And he looked like a pedler
just opening his pack. His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses,
his nose like a cherry! Miss Piggy: His droll little
mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his
chin was as white as the snow; Mrs. Obama: The stump
of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke,
it encircled his head like a wreath; Miss Piggy: He had
a broad face and a little round belly That
shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump,
a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw
him, in spite of myself; Mrs. Obama: A wink of his
eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I
had nothing to dread; Miss Piggy: He
spoke not a word, but went straight
to his work, And filled all
the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And
laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod,
up the chimney he rose; Mrs. Obama: He
sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. Miss Piggy: But I
heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” (applause) Mrs. Obama: High
five, Miss Piggy. Low five. Way to go. Happy Holidays! Miss Piggy: Merry Christmas! The President: Merry
Christmas everybody! Thank you, Betty, for
that introduction, for your extraordinary
service as one of our park rangers, and for all
of your — and your great-grandmother’s —
contributions to this country. Please give Betty a
big round of applause. (applause) I want tips from Betty on
how I can look that good at 94. (applause) I also want to thank Betty’s
boss, Jonathan Jarvis, and for everybody from the
National Park Service and the National Park Foundation
for everything that they do to protect and care for
America’s great outdoors — and for helping us “find our
park” this year and every year. And thank you to Reese
Witherspoon and each of tonight’s outstanding
performers. (applause) 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. Their loss is our loss, too,
for we’re all one American family. We look out for each other
in good times, and in bad. And they should know that
all of us care about them this holiday season. They’re in our thoughts,
they’re in our prayers, and we send them our love. Now, this is the 93rd time
Americans have gathered by the White House to light
the National Christmas Tree. And as always, this tree
is not alone — all across America, in living rooms,
and offices, churches, and town squares, families
and neighbors are gathering to decorate trees of their
own and get into the holiday spirit. It’s a chance to come
together and to focus on what really matters — the
simple gifts of family and friends. The wonder and hope
in a child’s eye. And, of course, the spirit
of giving and compassion that can help all of us find
new meaning in the world around us. That’s the message of the
child whose birth families like mine celebrate on
Christmas — a prince born in a stable who taught us
that we should love our neighbors as ourselves; and
that we are our brothers’ keeper and our
sisters’ keepers; that we should feed the
hungry, visit the sick, welcome the stranger. These are the lessons
of Jesus Christ. But they’re also the bedrock
values of all faiths — values to be cherished and
embraced not only during the holidays, but to be
practiced in our daily lives. So during this
holiday season, let’s come together as
brothers and sisters around the humanity that we share. Let’s reach out to those
who can use a hand. Let’s summon the spirit of
togetherness that’s always helped to kindle America’s
shining example to the world. And let’s keep in our
prayers those Americans who protect that ideal,
especially those stationed far from home
during the holidays. Our men and women in uniform
and their families sacrifice so much for us. And it’s because of them
that we can celebrate freely, that we can
worship as we please, that we can come together on
a night like this — strong, and united, and free. So on behalf of Michelle,
and Malia, and Sasha, and Grandma, and
Bo and Sunny, happy holiday to all of you. (applause) May God bless you all, and
may God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much. (applause) (music) The President: Merry
Christmas, everybody! (music) (applause) It’s Santa Claus! Should we do a little
Jingle Bells here? Reese Witherspoon: I think
it’s time for a round of Jingle Bells. Everybody can sing along. Everybody knows the words. (music) Jingle bells, jingle bells Jingle all the way Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one horse open sleigh Jingle bells, jingle bells Jingle all the way Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one horse open sleigh Dashing through the snow In a one horse open sleigh O’er the fields we go, Laughing all the way Bells on bob tail ring, making spirits bright What fun it is to ride and sing A sleighing
song tonight Jingle bells, jingle bells Jingle all the way Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one horse open sleigh Jingle bells, jingle bells Jingle all the way Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one horse open sleigh (music)

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