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  1. ITV Report

Obamas turn out for annual White House Christmas tree-lighting

President Obama addresses guests at the White House Credit: Reuters

President Barack Obama and his family have participated in the 90th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at the White House.

Obama was joined at the 90th annual tree-lighting ceremony by first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, and mother-in-law Marian Robinson.

Sasha prepares to light the National Christmas Tree Credit: Reuters

Obama told guest that a tree that stood near the White House for more than three decades was lost in a storm early last year. Its replacement didn't take hold.

He added: "Our tree has been having a hard time recently. This is our third one in as many years.

"It just goes to show, nobody's job is safe here in Washington," Obama joked.

The Obamas switch on the Christmas lights Credit: Reuters

One month after winning re-election, Obama said he is optimistic about the latest tree, a 28-foot blue spruce that was transplanted just days before Hurricane Sandy and made it through the storm seemingly unharmed.

The Christmas tree lights are switched on Credit: Reuters

"A great big Christmas tree shines out of the darkness," Obama said.

A local nursery donated the tree, another business chipped in for lights and a star, and 70-year-old Tom Killeen and his friends planted it at the end of the street, overlooking the town beach, Obama added.

Crowds gather to join the Obamas Credit: Reuters

The National Christmas Tree ablaze with white lights and stars, Obama joined the singers on stage in a singalong version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town".

President Obama sings with daughters Malia and Sasha Credit: Reuters