THE NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE

 

Breeah and I finally made it out to The National Christmas Tree display at President’s Park in front of the White House last night. Initially we wanted to attend the lighting but were unable to score tickets (and weren’t about to pay $50 to people selling them). So I ultimately I ended up working that night anyway and we saved a visit to the Park (which happens to be an NPS site, or at least part of the D.C. sites) for later.

Our last chance was last night, since we are heading out on our Christmas travels tonight (more on that later). So we parked near our favorite subway station (Bethesda) and rode it to Farragut North, which drops you off about a 15-20 minute walk from the festivities.

The Park from a distance

The Park includes 56 smaller lit trees encircling the National Tree entitled the “Pathway of Peace”. Of course, each tree represents the 50 states, five territories and D.C. I was particularly keen on Guam, American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands – which seem like worlds away from the U.S. but a very much a part of this country. Of course Breeah and I stopped to take photos with Minnesota (where she’s from), Montana (where I lived for nearly 27 years of my near 30 year life) and North Dakota (where she went to school). Each tree was decorated with ornaments constructed by someone (or a group) from that state or territory and most reflected the flavor of that region (Mississippi had balls for Ole Miss and Mississippi State, Montana had teepees, North Dakota had animals from the state, Maryland had various crustaceans and ocean dwellers).

The Menorah and the Washington Monument

A pit fire kept people warm near a nativity scene and nearby was  Santa’s Workshop, which was a beautifully constructed little log house. It was temporarily closed while “Santa” was on break, but you could glimpse inside while looking through the frosted over windows.

Santa was on break - he's worked hard enough, I imagine

Carolers from various schools around the four state region (and a few outliers) have been scheduled to sing all month long – and a school from Virginia took the stage while we were walking around. It definitely reminded me of when I sung at our last Christmas pageant in grade school – oh now some nearly 18 years ago.

Breeah next to the Minnesota tree

The main attraction was the National Tree, of course, and the new tree (I hear the last one blew down in a storm) was holding up nicely, surrounded minature trains, tracks and little towns constructed by volunteer hobbyists. The tree isn’t quite as huge as you’d expect (it’s 26-feet), but it is still decked out with lights from top to bottom. It’s also competing with a huge menorah that dominates the park’s skyline and makes for a great photo op! That goes for the lit-up White House in the background as well.

Makes you wish you were miniature, huh?

I was glad to finally see the National Tree as I’ve spent a few Christmases in D.C. already and never had the chance to get out to the area. It’s a perfect sendoff for Breeah and I as we start our holiday. Oh yeah, that reminds me: I’m going to be headed north – to Minnesota. We might be seeing some pretty cool, bloggable things – or so I’m told… It’s been a busy, relatively roady-less month for me, but that could change to end the year. I likely won’t be keeping to busy on here throughout the holiday but will have plenty of updates later (I may chime in with a holiday greeting or two). Everyone who has enjoyed this little blog for the past year, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season!

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