WATCH: First lady receives the official White House Christmas tree

Jill Biden opened the holiday season at the White House Monday by receiving the official 2021 White House Christmas tree – a 18 1/2-foot Fraser fir from North Carolina.

Watch the first lady receive the tree in the player above.

After greeting and inspecting the tree, the first lady declared, “Look how beautiful this is.”

“It is beautiful. It’s magnificent, really,” she said.

Mrs. Biden then broke off a small branch from the official Blue Room tree and gave it – along with a big smooch — to her toddler grandson.

Son Hunter Biden, his wife, Melissa, and their toddler, Beau, were among a sizeable group of White House aides, guests and others who braved crisp winds to watch the brief ceremony marking the start of President Joe Biden’s first Christmas in the White House.

The tree was presented by the father-and-son team of Rusty and Beau Estes of Peak Farms in Jefferson, North Carolina — a three-time winner of the National Christmas Tree Association’s annual contest. The winner gets to present its official tree to the White House.

The Fraser fir will be decorated in the coming days and displayed in the Blue Room, a tradition that dates back to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, after a chandelier is removed so it can be tethered to the ceiling for safety during the season.

The White House Christmas decorations will be revealed on the Monday after Thanksgiving, the first lady said.

She also was joined by a D.C. Army National Guard family to honor the National Guard’s role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, her office said. She has been using her new role to help highlight and rally support for military families from across the country through an initiative named Joining Forces. The Bidens’ late son, Beau — for whom the toddler grandson is named — served in the Delaware Army National Guard.

Later Monday, the first lady was joining President Biden, the commander in chief, on a trip to the Army’s Fort Bragg in North Carolina to celebrate “friendsgiving” with service members and military families. The term combines the words “friend” and “Thanksgiving” and refers to a large meal among friends that’s eaten during the Thanksgiving season.

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