WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) -- As rain and cold swept across Washington, D.C., President Obama decided to shorten the ceremonial lighting of the National Christmas Tree.
Rather than the traditional countdown from the number 10, Obama opted for only five before he and his family hit the button that lit the tree.
"It's a little wet out there, so we shouldn't start at 10," the president said.
Surveying the crowd gathered on the Ellipse behind the White House, Obama also asked: "Is everybody still a little bit wet, but having fun?"
The answers seemed mixed, but the crowd did hang around for a concert that included Aretha Franklin, Arturo Sandoval, Mariah Carey, and host Jane Lynch.
In closing remarks, in a pouring rain, Obama urged Americans to also celebrate the season by remembering military families and people in need.
He also joked to the soaked crowd: "You are lucky I'm not singing!"