Commentary: White House traditions during the holidays go back over 200 years

President Trump and First Lady Melania illuminated the 95th National Christmas Tree in front of the White House on Nov. 30. On the campaign trail, President Trump had criticized the use of 'happy holidays' instead of 'merry Christmas', and his remarks last night focused on the religious origins of the holiday. The lineup was perhaps slightly less A-list than Obama's tree lighting ceremony last year, but nevertheless President Trump could be seen swaying to the tunes of the Beach Boys, Jack Wagner and  Wynonna Judd. The special will air on Monday on the Hallmark Channel. (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/DC Refined)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - At this time of the year, we are opening our homes to welcome friends and family for the holidays.

In our nation’s capital, the White House is no different.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have decked the halls and swung the doors open to celebrate the season’s festivities.

These traditions at the White House go back over 200 years.

The first White House Christmas party was held in December 1800. President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams held the party for their 4 year-old granddaughter who was living with them. They invited government officials and their children to celebrate together.

It wasn’t until 1889 that the first Christmas tree was placed in the White House by President Benjamin Harrison.

The hospitality of the White House has continued to grow. What started out as an intimate family affair among the first family and a few friends has evolved into a national celebration.

In fact, the White House estimates more than 25,000 people will have visited the first family’s home during the holiday season.

By the way, it is not just Christmas that is celebrated. President Trump also held a wonderful White House Hanukkah party this year. That tradition goes back to President George W. Bush who held the first one in 2001.

Here’s the bottom line: there is so much disagreement and strife in our society. It is truly reassuring that Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life have a chance to celebrate together and do so by visiting the beautiful people’s home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all.

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