National Christmas tree will be lit after donations save it from darkness during shutdown

National Christmas tree will be lit after donations save it from darkness during shutdown
National Christmas Tree (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[Ed. – And may all our Christmases be bright.]

In a Christmas season of drastically reduced ambitions, perhaps this qualifies as a miracle.

The National Christmas Tree that sits behind the White House will be reopened to the public on Monday after becoming an unfortunate totem of Washington’s political dysfunction when it went dark over the weekend amid the federal shutdown.

The tree and its lighting had been damaged by a rogue climber on Friday, and it was unclear whether it would be fixed in time for the holiday.

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But the private sector stepped in when the federal government could not.

The National Park Foundation, a nonprofit that is the official charity to help private money improve the national park system, gave the National Park Service enough money both to investigate the damage caused by the climber, and keep the park open and lighted through Jan. 1, it announced Monday.

“The National Park Foundation’s support to President’s Park is one example of how private philanthropy can help support national parks when they need it most,” Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, said in a statement.

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