WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says Christmas is a time to count our blessings and "remember what Christ taught us: that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive."
The first family flipped the switch Thursday for the 90th annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree. After Obama led the countdown, the first lady and his daughter pushed the button.
The ceremony featured a couple of hymns among mostly secular Christmas songs.
The Rev. Luis Leon, who pastors St. John's Episcopal Church just steps away from the White House, prayed that the tree would remind Americans that God is connected to them in good times and bad.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)