"Bruce the Spruce" gets lit - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

"Bruce the Spruce" gets lit

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(12/04/13) - Christmas is a little more than three weeks away, but in the nation's capital, holiday festivities kicked off with the lighting of the Christmas Capitol Tree, led by Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R).

Hundreds of people gathered on the Capitol lawn to watch the lighting of what's dubbed "the People's Tree" on Tuesday. This year's tree traveled all the way to D.C. from Washington State, a journey that took about three weeks. It was covered in more than 5,000 handmade ornaments made by Washingtonians.

Boehner had help from Giovanni Gainer, a first grader from Washington State. He flipped the switch to turn on the thousands of lights on the 80-foot Englemann Spruce. But before the big moment, Boehner honored Gainer in a very special way.

"It's my understanding that when you grow up, you want to be a police officer," Boehner said to Gainer. "Well, the chief and I were talking, and if it's OKwith you, we'd like to make you a junior Capital Police Officer for today."

The tree lighting ceremony marks the 49th official year of the Capitol Christmas Tree, and it is just the start of the holiday decorating around the D.C. area.

On Friday, President Obama will continue a 90-year tradition by helping to light the National Christmas tree on the White House lawn.

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