Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

Yahoo News Photo Staff

Ringing in the holidays for the first time from Washington, President Donald Trump lit the National Christmas Tree Thursday evening, wishing the country “a Merry Christmas” — as he vowed to do during his campaign.

Taking part in the annual ritual, Trump counted down from 10 before his wife, Melania, pushed a button to set the tree aglow with golden lights and silver stars.

“Today’s a day that I’ve been looking very much forward to all year long,” said Trump. “And now, as the president of the United States, it’s my tremendous honor to finally wish America and the world a very merry Christmas.”

During his campaign, Trump had promised that, when he was elected, people would be saying “Merry Christmas again,” a reference to what he characterized as the country’s obsession with political correctness. In Trump’s view, the move toward the use of the more inclusive “happy holidays” phrase minimized the Christian celebration. (AP)

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<p>First lady Melania Trump, with President Donald Trump and hosts Dean Cain (L) and Kathie Lee Gifford (2nd L), reacts after she pressed the button to light the tree during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony near the White House in Washington, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

First lady Melania Trump, with President Donald Trump and hosts Dean Cain (L) and Kathie Lee Gifford (2nd L), reacts after she pressed the button to light the tree during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony near the White House in Washington, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

<p>President Donald Trump (R) gestures as first lady Melania Trump smiles during the 95th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at the Ellipse in President’s Park near the White House in Washington on Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

President Donald Trump (R) gestures as first lady Melania Trump smiles during the 95th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at the Ellipse in President’s Park near the White House in Washington on Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, react as they light the 2017 National Christmas Tree during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, react as they light the 2017 National Christmas Tree during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)

<p>President Donald Trump participates in the 95th annual national Christmas tree lighting ceremony held by the National Park Service on the Ellipse near the White House on Nov,30, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

President Donald Trump participates in the 95th annual national Christmas tree lighting ceremony held by the National Park Service on the Ellipse near the White House on Nov,30, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)

<p>&#92;President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in the National Christmas Tree Lighting and Pageant of Peace ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

\President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in the National Christmas Tree Lighting and Pageant of Peace ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

<p>President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand after lighting the 2017 National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse near the White House, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand after lighting the 2017 National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse near the White House, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)

<p>Donald Trump Jr., his wife Vanessa Trump, and their family watch performances during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

Donald Trump Jr., his wife Vanessa Trump, and their family watch performances during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

<p>President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, watch performances during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, second from left. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, watch performances during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, second from left. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

<p>White House senior advisor Jared Kushner, seated with his wife White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump and their children, looks over at U.S. President Donald Trump as he bows his head during the prayer at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony near the White House in Washington, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

White House senior advisor Jared Kushner, seated with his wife White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump and their children, looks over at U.S. President Donald Trump as he bows his head during the prayer at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony near the White House in Washington, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

<p>President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump applaud as they watch performances during the lighting ceremony for the 2017 National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump applaud as they watch performances during the lighting ceremony for the 2017 National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

<p>President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walk off the stage during the 95th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at the Ellipse in President’s Park near the White House in Washington on Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walk off the stage during the 95th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at the Ellipse in President’s Park near the White House in Washington on Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting and Pageant of Peace ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting and Pageant of Peace ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters)

<p>President Donald Trump waves as he leaves with first lady Melania Trump at the lighting ceremony for the 2017 National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

President Donald Trump waves as he leaves with first lady Melania Trump at the lighting ceremony for the 2017 National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

<p>(From left) Obama’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, Dec. 1, 2016; Trump’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images, Steve Rudin ABC7 via Twitter) </p>
Trump lights the National Christmas Tree

(From left) Obama’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, Dec. 1, 2016; Trump’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images, Steve Rudin ABC7 via Twitter)

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