December 1st, 2011
08:03 PM ET
WHITE HOUSE (CNN) - The Obama family went to their backyard on Thursday evening to participate in a holiday tradition. The Obamas attended the 89th annual Lighting of the National Christmas Tree and the Pageant of Peace held on the Ellipse of the White House grounds.
President Obama, joined by his daughters and the "Grandmother in Chief" Marian Robinson, spoke of the birth of Jesus and how the message of the Christian faith should bring together all Americans to serve their communities.
"No matter who we are, or where we come from, or how we worship, it’s a message that can unite all of us on this holiday season," Mr. Obama said. "It’s important for us to keep in mind the central message of this season, and keep Christ’s words not only in our thoughts, but also in our deeds."
Among the star-studded cast was Kermit the Frog who joined First Lady Michelle Obama in reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas."
The National Christmas Tree is a new tree this year after the previous one was destroyed by a wind storm last February.
"We all know that this tradition is much larger than any single tree. And tonight, once again, we gather here not simply to light some decorations, but to honor a story that lights the world," the president said.