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White House Christmas tree arrives, continuing tradition amid Covid-19 and election disputes

November 23, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

US First Lady Melania Trump receives the White House Christmas Tree at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 23, 2020. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

First lady Melania Trump welcomed the 2020 White House Christmas tree Monday afternoon, continuing the long-held tradition even as the coronavirus pandemic rages on and as President Donald Trump's longshot election challenges remain unsettled.

Washington (CNN)First lady Melania Trump welcomed the 2020 White House Christmas tree Monday afternoon, continuing the long-held tradition even as the coronavirus pandemic rages on and as President Donald Trump's longshot election challenges remain unsettled.

A military band played a festive medley of "O Christmas Tree," "O Come, All Ye Faithful," and "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing," as a maskless first lady emerged from the White House to greet a horse-drawn carriage with the tree on the North Portico.

White House Christmas tree selection is typically a competitive process overseen by the National Christmas Tree Association, which has provided the official tree since 1966.

"The Taylors have supplied Christmas trees to decorate the White House for a number of years, except of course, the Blue Room tree which comes from NCTA's Grand Champion Grower," the NCTA noted in a statement.

The arrival of the Christmas tree usually marks the kickoff of the White House's annual holiday festivities.

And another White House holiday tradition, the President's turkey pardon, is still scheduled to take place this week.

But despite public health experts describing previous functions at the White House as superspreader events, many of this year's public and private White House holiday events are scheduled to still take place -- albeit in a smaller fashion.

This includes smaller guest lists, masks will be required and available, social distancing encouraged while on the White House grounds, and hand sanitizer stations throughout the State Floor," East Wing chief of staff Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

It is a longstanding tradition for people to visit and enjoy the cheer and iconic decor of the annual White House Christmas celebrations. "

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