The National Christmas Tree lighting is an event not to miss… so I hear. In order to receive tickets, you must register your name with the National Park Service to then be entered into a lottery with thousands of other hopefuls. This year, the event was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris with performances by Colbie Cailat, The Fray, Jason Mraz, and more. To make me even more bitter about not winning tickets, the first family was in attendance and led the crowd in Christmas carols.

I was feeling down about not winning tickets, when I realized how many other lighting of trees happen around DC. So, I went to the Capitol Christmas Tree lighting where John Boehner spoke and the Navy band played. It was exactly the experience I was looking for. The weather was unseasonably warm, people were dressed in Santa hats, and there was no crowd to combat. I was able to stand on the front lawn of the Capitol and watch the sun set as we awaited the tree to be lit. Once it was, we all gazed at its beauty and the were even able to get close enough to take some pictures.

So, even if you don’t get tickets to the famed National Christmas Tree lighting or any other event, keep your ears and eyes open for other activities that you might enjoy just as much. Like me, you could’ve missed out on a pleasant evening after work. Further, my friends and I plan to seek out other little known lighting’s, such as the National Menorah Lighting.