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First Lady Welcomes White House Christmas Tree

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- With Thanksgiving over and the countdown to Christmas on, the White House is gearing up for the holiday.

First lady Michelle Obama, accompanied by daughters Sasha and Malia and dogs Bo and Sunny, welcomed the official White House Christmas tree to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Friday morning.

"We are honored to have it. This is the best part of the holiday season, when our tree comes," Mrs. Obama said, before inspecting the 18.5 foot tall Douglas fir.

The tree was presented by growers Chris Botek and Kyra Yurko of the Christmas Spring Tree Farm in Leighton, Pa. Also present were the winners of the annual National Christmas Tree Association contest, John and Leslie Wyckoff of the Wyckoff's Christmas Tree Farm in Belvidere, N.J.

"Check it out," Mrs. Obama told her daughters. "It's very big," Malia remarked.

Mrs. Obama, who held Sunny on a leash, also asked the newest member of the Obama family what she thought: "What do you think, Sunny?… This is Sunny's first Christmas Tree arrival."

The first lady walked around the tree and touched its needles, leaning in to smell it, before asking her daughters what they thought of it. "I love it," Malia said. "We'll keep it."

The tree will be displayed in the Blue Room throughout the holidays.

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