The 2012 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

The 2012 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony - December 6, 2012

Celebrating its 90th year, the ceremony is a time-honored holiday tradition which includes the illumination of the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse just south of the White House. Nationally known entertainers and a United States military band add to the celebratory evening in which the President is invited to bring a message of peace to the nation and the world. With the White House as the back drop, in what becomes the "Christmas Pathway of Peace", the National Christmas Tree and 56 smaller trees - one for each state, five territories, and the District of Columbia - serve as the focal point of the event. The Christmas Pathway of Peace is lit each evening at dusk until 10:00 PM (ET) through January 1, 2013. Each tree is decorated with unique ornaments created by an artist and volunteers from that state, territory or District of Columbia.

The seasonal displays this year will include a Santa's Workshop, sponsored by UL. The Workshop will be open at select times for children to explore and get a free photo with Santa. Visit for more details including hours of operation.

And for the 18th consecutive year, the National Christmas Tree Railroad will provide model trains that surround the base of the National Christmas Tree. The trains will run from 10:00 AM (ET) to 10:00 PM (ET) daily through January 1, 2013.

The National Christmas Tree is also the site of nightly performances from regional performers.

For more information on the event and to watch a live webcast of the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, please visit

The lottery application period for the 2012 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony has closed. If you have already applied, the results of the lottery will be published on Thursday, November 1, 2012.

For those that have applied for the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, the status of your application will be emailed to you by on Thursday November 1, 2012. You can check the status of your application anytime by logging on to your profile. If an email is not received by November 12, 2012 please contact us at or call us at 1-888-304-6782 (Mon-Fri; 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (ET)).

A live webcast of the event will be available at starting on December 6, 2012 at 4:30 PM (ET). PBS stations across the country will also air the show throughout the month of December. Please visit or check local listings for dates and times.

National Christmas Tree Railroad Kermit the Frog and Carson Daly at the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting U.S.A.F. Airmen of Note at the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting
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