- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
There’s no place like D.C. for Christmas
City sets aside politics for tidings of comfort and joy
Question of the Day
The event is free but closed to the public on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Otherwise, young and old can stroll through the lights until Jan. 1.
One of Washington’s oldest and most anticipated traditions is the National Christmas Tree, a knock-‘em-dead Colorado blue spruce in President’s Park behind the White House at 17th and D streets Northwest. The gold-star-topped, 31-foot-tall tree is surrounded by 56 smaller trees that represent the states, the territories and the District of Columbia. Decorated with one-of-a-kind ornaments by American children and artisans, the trees and the handicraft symbolize American history and the nation’s geopolitical landscape.
This is the 90th anniversary of the first lighting of a national tree. President Obama flipped a switch this year, but in 1923, President Coolidge bent over and pressed a button at the base of the tree to flash on the 2,500 red, white and green bulbs that news reports said lit up like a “blaze of glory.”
An enthusiastic crowd of thousands attended the lighting of the 48-foot-tall balsam fir, which was donated by Middlebury College.
Entertainment at the time included a Marine Corps quartet and the First Congregational Choir, as Coolidge was a Congregationalist.
Coolidge, like American presidents before and after him, delivered Christmas messages: “To the American people: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.”
This Christmas Eve, Cardinal Donald W. Weurl, the archbishop of Washington, offered a message of reflection during an interview: “When we celebrate Christmas itself, everybody can pause and reflect on what Christmas means. We’re celebrating the birth of Jesus.”
He added that His message is one “of hope, of peace, of love” — even if you’re not Christian.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...
- SIMMONS: Tell Joe Biden and the NAACP that politics aren't black and white
- SIMMONS: Youthful sounds of music stirring in Prince George's County
- 'No cellphone' sidewalk pops up in D.C.
- SIMMONS: Archie Andrews saves the gay
- SIMMONS: Surprise! Schools kick out toddlers
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare in intensive care
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq