Monday's arrival of a massive Christmas tree that will illuminate the grounds of the Capitol's west front is the latest sign that Washington has entered the holiday season, but this annual tradition has a very modern twist. This year's tree has its own blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
"The Capitol Christmas Tree is often referred to as 'the People's Tree' because it reflects the generosity of the state that sent it to Washington," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. "This year, the people of Wyoming are showcasing their great state with a magnificent tree and beautiful ornaments. May the tree light the way for a blessed Christmas and a happy holiday season."
And the tree will be lighting the way - specifically with LED lights, which use significantly less energy than traditional Christmas bulbs. The tree will also be decorated with 5,000 ornaments crafted by Wyoming residents. The Speaker's office plans to light up the tree for the first time on Dec. 7. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a staple of the holiday season in Washington since the first tree was set up at the base of the Capitol building in 1964, and the annual lighting always attracts a large crowd.
And perhaps an even larger crowd will arrive this year, if the tree decides to tweet about the ceremony.
That's right, this year's tree is perhaps the hippest, most technology-savvy tree to grace the Capitol grounds. This year's tree has a blog. And a Facebook account. And a Twitter account.
The tree (@TracktheTreet) updated its followers during its journey across the nation, taking photos at various destinations and updating fans with its latest locations.
The latest tweet reads, happily: "I'm at the Capitol!"