Kongo fretted about this week’s photo challenge for over a month. I mean, what can you do with the letter X? X-ray, Xylophone, Xi, Xenophobia, or a bunch of Scrabble words that have no accepted definition other than that they are in the Scrabble dictionary? Kongo was almost reduced to taking of picture of the office Xerox machine when the holiday decorations in the cube farm outside his office inspired him. So, after work at the height of DC rush hour traffic, the monkey drives from Herndon down to the National Mall, sharks for a parking place for 30 minutes, walks a mile, and freezes his Southern California tootsie off to get these pictures of the National Xmas Tree. Now that, my gentle readers, is a real photo challenge!
The National Christmas Tree is on a broad grassy field just across from the south facade of the White House on Constitution Avenue known as the Ellipse. Tradition is that the President lights the tree each year in a festive holiday ceremony that has been ongoing for more than 90 years. This particular Christmas tree is the third tree (they are permanently planted in the ground) in three years, the others being killed by storms or other causes.
Along with the Christmas tree is the Menorah. The National Tree is surrounded by smaller trees from each state and U.S. territory, which are decorated with ornaments that symbolize key points of the state. When Kongo visited there was a children’s choir singing carols.
Through his lens, Kongo could see the White House decorations and the Christmas trees in the windows on the south portico.
In past years when Kongo lived here and visited the tree there was a giant Yule log burning. This year there is no log, which was a big disappointment for Kongo because after hiking in to get the pictures he was a cold little monkey!
Travel safe. Have fun. Merry Xmas!