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Malia Skips Pres. Obama's Final National Tree Lighting

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The Obama family lit the national Christmas tree for the last time, but were not joined by daughter Malia.

According to reports, 18-year-old Malia skipped out on the tree lighting because of her current gap year between high school and college at Harvard. She also skipped out on this year's turkey pardoning. 

President Obama, First Lady Michelle and their daughter Sasha took the stage after Kelly Clarkson performed and announced that it was time to begin the ceremony.

“To everybody who’s here tonight and everybody watching at home, it is now officially the time to light this tree!” Pres. Obama said, the Daily Mail reported.

The tree was then lit -- marking a tradition that began with President Calvin Coolidge 93 years ago.

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The ceremony was open to ticket holders who got them through a lottery that took place in October. It will, however, air on the Hallmark channel and features performers like the Lumineers, Garth Brooks, Chance the Rapper and James Taylor.

The National Christmas Tree was planted in 2012 after the preceding tree succumbed to high winds the previous year. The tree is covered in LED red, white and blue lights as well as star and sugar plum ornaments. 

The ceremony will air on the Hallmark Channel on Dec. 5. 

Sources: Daily Mail, WRC, People / Photo credits: U.S. Department of the Interior/Flickr, White House/Twitter

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