Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Dec 1, 2014
December 1, 2014
The White House:
The nation's official Christmas tree arrived at the White House over the weekend. The First Tree is chosen from the farm that wins the National Christmas Tree Association contest every year since 1966. This year the folks from the Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Lehighton, PA, were the winners and selected a 20-foot white fir, which will grace the White House's Blue Room. The tree has to fit in the room, so it'll have to be trimmed to fit under the 18 and a half foot ceiling there.
The farm also donated the White House tree twice before, in 2006 and 2010.
The tree is currently being decorated (along with the rest of the White House) and will be unveiled to the press and a bunch of military families on Wednesday.
The President at play:
At the White House, PRESIDENT OBAMA pardoned both Thanksgiving turkeys --one called "Mac" and the other "Cheese"-- that were given to him by the National Turkey Federation --a tradition that's been going on since 1947.
The White House says although the pardon's been going on for 67 years now, the first bird was sent to President Grant back in 1873. A Rhode Island man named HORACE VOSE was responsible for "selecting with the utmost care" the "noblest gobbler in all that little state" for the President's Thanksgiving dinner.
In 1963, PRESIDENT KENNEDY returned the turkey to the farm where it came from --which ultimately led to the tradition of letting a turkey spend the rest of his days in the countryside.
President GEORGE H.W. BUSH was the first to give the turkey an formal pardon in 1989, beginning the official custom of a pardoning ceremony.
The First Family at play:
PRESIDENT OBAMA and his daughters SASHA and MALIA did some shopping on Small Business Saturday at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington. After buying 21 books last year, he purchased 17 more this year.
Among the president's latest purchases: "Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End" and "Brown Girl Dreaming." (Pacelli)
Didja put up those strings of holiday lights outside or put up your Christmas tree over the weekend? Dou ya think your neighbors go a bit overboard on Christmas decorations? At least you don't live next to the guy with over 600-thousand Christmas lights.
That's how many the GAY family of Lagrangeville, NY, will be plugging in when they attempt to set a Guinness Record for "Most Lights on a Residential Property." They did get a little help --180-thousand of them are from their corporate sponsor, Ritz Crackers.
They'll be trying to break last year's record of 502,165 lights the family of DAVID and JANEAN RICHARDS used to deck out their home in Canberra, Australia, to clinch last year's title. For the record, Guinness says the display included more than 31 miles of lights.
While we're on the subject, how much does it cost in electricity? Richard told reporters last year his electric bill ran around $2,291 each month the lights were up, although a local energy company covered the cost.
The Richards also set the record back in 2011 with 331,038 lights, but were unseated in 2012 by the Gay family.
Editor's note: I wouldn't mind the lights. I just wouldn't wanna be the Guinness guy who counted up all 502,165 of 'em.
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