WASHINGTON (AP) — Melania Trump opened the holiday season in the nation’s capital Monday by accepting delivery of the official White House Christmas tree. The tree is from lower Northumberland County, the Mahantongo Valley Farms in Pitman. Members of the U.S. Marine Band played “O Christmas Tree” as a pair of horses named Cash and Ben trotted up the White House driveway pulling a green carriage that carried an 18 ½-foot Douglas fir. The towering tree will become the centerpiece of Christmas in the White House Blue Room.
The first lady appeared moments later, escorted by a military aide, and smiled, waved and chatted up the top-hatted men holding tight to the reins. She walked around the carriage and paused to look at the tree before posing for photos with the Pennsylvania farmer who donated it. Mrs. Trump wished everyone a “Merry Christmas” before going back inside the White House. Delivered three days before Thanksgiving, the fir was harvested by owner Larry Snyder earned the honor of presenting the White House a tree from his farm after winning an annual contest held by the National Christmas Tree Association.