December 9th, 2010
07:37 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The first family braved 30 degree temperatures to attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House Thursday evening.
President Obama delivered remarks and took a front row seat with his family and mother-in-law to watch the one-hour program that included musical performances and a Christmas story by the first lady.
Michelle Obama read The Night Before Christmas to children on stage and ignited laughter when she turned too many pages and lost her place. She said, "First Lady's taking off her gloves," as she exposed her hand to the frigid climate so she wouldn't repeat the mistake.
Chicago native hip-hop artist Common hosted the program, and BB King and Maroon 5 were among the guest performers.
The 42-foot tall Colorado blue spruce is the most energy-efficient tree since the tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree started 87 years ago. The tree was trimmed "green" with LED lights and LED snowflake ornaments.