Barron Trump back in the spotlight for White House holiday events

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Barron Trump back in the spotlight for White House holiday events

Barron Trump, the youngest of the Trump tribe, is back in the public eye this week after months of the relative privacy of school and soccer practice.

The 11-year-old appeared twice before White House cameras: on Tuesday for the annual turkey-pardoning ceremony attended by both his parents, and on Monday evening with his mother, first lady Melania Trump, for the greeting of the official White House Christmas Tree.         

Both times, Barron wore a dark suit coat, white shirt and dark slacks. Like dad, he even wore a tie to the turkey ceremony, although his was blue and the president's was pink-and-white striped.          

Like all young children of presidential families, Barron is usually photographed only when he's with his parents or for special events, such as the Easter Egg Roll in March.

Consequently, media cameras capture him most often when he's departing or arriving at the White House with his parents. The last time the cameras caught him, the family was returning from a Camp David weekend Aug. 27.

Since then, Barron's been in sixth grade at his new school, St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, about 20 miles from the White House. 

Since's he's off for Thanksgiving, he was available to help his mom accept the official White House Christmas tree, and stand by dad as he granted leniency for Drumstick and Wishbone, the White House turkeys, in the Rose Garden.         

Barron is tall for his age, almost as tall as his mother in her heels, as demonstrated by the pictures Tuesday. 

On Monday, Barron and Melania Trump were on hand as a military quartet played holiday tunes, and an old-fashioned horse-drawn wagon rolled up the White House driveway with a 19 1/2-foot Balsam fir from Wisconsin.         

The White House tree usually arrives the day after Thanksgiving, but was delivered early this year so the Trumps, who left Tuesday to spend Thanksgiving at their Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, could take part in the turkey ceremony, a tradition since President George H.W. Bush started it in 1989.          

President Trump has been keen to emphasize the Christian aspect of the winter holidays. During last year’s presidential campaign, he railed against the habit of saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” characterizing it as a “chipping away at Christianity.”

At the North Portico, Barron and his mother inspected the tree, and she chatted with growers Jim and Diane Chapman, owners of Silent Night Evergreens, a central Wisconsin Christmas tree farm. They won the annual contest to provide the White House Christmas tree, sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association since 1966.         

The White House grounds superintendent and the chief usher, who oversees the residence, picked out the tree during a September scouting trip.         

"This is a beautiful tree. Thank you so much. We will decorate it very nicely,” the first lady told the Chapmans and other family members. “I hope you can come and visit with us.”         

After getting a symbolic approval, the tree was taken to the Blue Room where, after a slight trim and the removal of a huge chandelier, it will take center stage.         

While the Trumps are away for Thanksgiving, a small army of volunteer decorators and florists from around the country will descend on the White House and spend the holiday weekend transforming the 132-room mansion for Christmas, complete with a tree in every public room.

The White House kitchens will go into overdrive preparing all the food and cakes, cookies and pies that are typically served at the parties, along with the gingerbread White House — which, for health reasons, is never eaten. In recent years, cookies in the image of former President Barack Obama’s dogs, Bo and Sunny, were always among the first items to be slipped into purses for the trip home.

The Trumps do not have a pet.

The White House plans to unveil the holiday decor Monday, and the first lady will welcome children and students from Joint Base Andrews for a holiday arts and crafts event. The president plans to light the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse on Thursday.         

Associated Press reports were used in this article.

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