- First Lady Jill Biden received the official White House Christmas tree on Monday
- The 18.5-foot Fraser Fir came from Cline Church Nursery in Fleetwood, North Carolina and helps kick-off Christmas at the White House
- Children of ‘military-connected families’ joined Dr. Biden for the tree arrival
Just hours after President Joe Biden pardoned turkeys Liberty and Bell on the South Lawn on the day of his 81st birthday, his wife went to the opposite side of the property to participate in another annual tradition ringing in the Christmas season at the White House.
Members of the Marine Corps Band played Christmas tunes as White House staff and guests gathered to watch Dr. Biden, 72, receive the tree.
The first lady walked out of the White House north lawn doors with a group of children ranging in ages as the band played the classic holiday tune O Christmas Tree.
The 18.5 foot tree came from a nursery in Fleetwood, North Carolina and, after decorated, will stand ‘filling the Blue Room of the White House’ from floor to ceiling.
‘Every year, the room’s chandelier is removed to accommodate the tree’s full height,’ the White House said in a statement on the tree’s arrival.
The tree was delivered in usual fashion by a carriage pulled by two Clydesdale horses with the sign ‘White House Christmas Tree 2023.’
It was presented to Dr. Biden by siblings Amber Scott and Alex Church, who are providing the tree from Cline Church Nursery, which won the annual National Christmas Tree Association’s contest for the 2023 Grand Champion Grower.
‘I just want to say, well, early Merry Christmas, Happy Thanksgiving,’ first lady Biden told the press gathered for Monday’s festivities.
‘I hope you saw all our Military families. It was so nice of them to join us today – all the children,’ Biden said. ‘The tree, which is magnificent, is from the Cline Church nursery. Some of the kids said that they had never seen a tree so big.’
Biden invited the press to join the first family for the holidays at the White House to ‘come see the tree when it’s decorated.’
The White House notes that those who joined the first lady for the tree arrival are ‘military-connected families’
The same day the tree arrived, Biden also participated in the long-held Thanksgiving tradition of the Turkey Pardon.
The President said the birds had to ‘beat some tough odds and competition’ to be with him on the White House lawn on Monday.
At the turkey pardoning, which was also the day of the President’s 81st birthday, Biden made light of his age as voters continue to express concern over his fitness for office.
‘By the way, it’s my birthday today…I just want you to know it’s difficult turning 60,’ he joked.
The president added: ‘This is the 76th anniversary of this event. I want you to know I wasn’t there…’
When presented with one of the turkeys to pardon he said: ‘That’s a big bird man. I’m impressed. I hereby pardon, Liberty and Bell. Congratulations birds.’