Speaking at the lighting of the national Christmas tree Thursday, President Barack Obama said the celebration represents universal values.
"It represents a tradition that we celebrate as a country - a tradition that has come to represent more than any one holiday or religion, but a season of brotherhood and generosity to our fellow citizens," he said.
He went on to say that Americans should also keep the unemployed, homeless, military service members and their families in mind during the holidays.
The first family pressed the button that brought the lights on the 40-foot Colorado spruce to life Thursday evening.
Michelle Obama read the classic holiday story, "The Night Before Christmas."
The lighting of the White House Christmas tree has been a tradition since 1923.
Source: The Washington Post