First lady Melania Trump, third from right, with her son Barron Trump, third from left, is presented by the Chapman family of Silent Night Evergreens, the Wisconsin-grown Christmas Tree at the North Portico of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. (AP Photo)
Washington: Melania Trump, and son Barron, continued a time-honoured tradition of first ladies receiving the official White House Christmas tree.
A military band quartet played holiday tunes as a horse-drawn wagon carried the 19 1/2-foot Balsam fir from Wisconsin up the White House driveway.
The first lady, wearing a holiday red turtleneck and a coat draped over her shoulders, and Barron, in a dark suit coat, white shirt and dark slacks, emerged from the North Portico. They circled the tree and walked over to Jim and Diane Chapman, who presented it. The Chapmans own a Wisconsin Christmas tree farm and won an annual contest sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association.
"This is a beautiful tree. Thank you so much. We will decorate it very nicely," the first lady told the Chapmans and other members of their family on Monday. "I hope you can come and visit with us."
The White House chief usher, who oversees the residence, and the grounds superintendent picked out the tree during a September scouting trip.
After Mrs. Trump and Barron gave their symbolic approval, the tree was carefully carted off to the Blue Room where, after a slight trim and the removal of a monstrous chandelier, it will become the holiday showstopper for a president who has vowed to put Christmas back in the center of the winter holidays.