December 28th, 2008 – by: Andy99
National Christmas Tree and Washington Monument
The National Christmas Tree
, DC, is lit each year in early December and remains illuminated through New Years. We usually see it every year, at least from afar, but this year Susan and I decided to make a trip down to the Ellipse
to view it up close. The post Christmas weather in Washington had seen a warming trend over the chilly week leading up to the holiday. Sunday evening looked promising for walking about and so Susan and I headed for the District around 7:00 p.m.
One used to be able to park right on the Ellipse to view the tree and the accompanying Pageant of Peace
displays. But, since 9/11, the area has been closed to traffic as it is immediately in front of the White House.
Illuminated Washington Monument
Nevertheless, we found a street parking spot about three blocks away. We entered the area and walked around the tree along and then viewed the smaller trees representing every state and territory. The lights on the tree change over time. In previous years they have been mutlicolored lights that changed periodically. This year they were constant white lights. Numerous model trains run around the tree and on smaller displays nearby. After the trees, we looked at the other Pageant of Peace displays: the burning Olde Yule Log, the Natvity scene, and the illuminated National Chanukah Menorah. Of course, I had to find good night photo spots for all this! Before leaving, we walked acoss the street to see the illuminated White House
from across the South Lawn.
Both Susan and I enjoy the week between Christmas Day and New Year Day when everything quiets down and one can really enjoy the season. Our visit to the National Christmas Tree was an enjoyable addition to the festivities for this year.
Washington Sights & Attractions review
The National Christmas Tree and Pageant of Peace
The illuminated National Christmas Tree has been a Washington, DC, tradition since 1923. Since 1978 the same live tree, a Colorado Blue Spruce planted… read entire review