Heard on the Hill

Capitol Christmas Tree shines bright amid grim impeachment proceedings

‘The Voice’ winner Chevel Shepherd warmed hearts despite cold temps

A band plays during a ceremony Wednesday to light the Capitol Christmas Tree, which is displayed on the West Front of the Capitol. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

We interrupt your regularly scheduled, bleak impeachment programming to bring you a brighter alternative. 

As the House Judiciary Committee wrapped up its first contentious hearing in the impeachment inquiry Wednesday evening, the Capitol Christmas Tree shined a bright spot amid the darkness.

This year, the 55-year-old holiday tradition features a 60-foot blue spruce from Carson National Forest in New Mexico that traveled nearly 2,000 miles to be dubbed the “People’s Tree.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi accompanied members of the New Mexico congressional delegation including Reps. Deb HaalandXochitl Torres Small and Ben Ray Lujan, Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and congresswoman-turned-governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

“New Mexico is a proud multicultural state,” Udall said. “Our diversity does not divide us — it defines us.”

Asher Dean, a fourth-grader from Arroyo Seco, New Mexico, had the honor of lighting the tree after winning a Christmas tree essay contest, according to local media outlets.

“He’s going to light the tree on behalf of all America’s children,” Pelosi said.

Winner of season 15 of NBC’s “The Voice,” Chevel Shepherd performed a beautiful rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” as the crowd watched while bearing the bitter temperature.

“Just by hearing her voice, our troubles were very far away,” Pelosi joked.

The Christmas conifer, trimmed with thousands of hand-crafted ornaments from children in New Mexico, will be lit each day from dusk to 11 p.m. through Jan. 1.

The last time the Capitol grounds hosted a blue spruce from New Mexico as part of the holiday tradition was 1991.

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