Thousands of empty seats as Donald and Melania Trump light National Christmas tree

Melania Trump unveiled the somewhat controversial White House Christmas decorations earlier last week, and now the lights for the National Christmas Tree have finally been turned on too.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump lit the National Christmas Tree at the White House on Thursday night – something the President had been looking forward to “ALL YEAR LONG” if his Twitter status was anything to go by.

“It is my tremendous honor to finally wish America and the world, a very MERRY CHRISTMAS,” he added to his Tweet.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony was hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Dean Cain, with performances from Mannheim Steamroller, The Beach Boys, and Wynonna, among others.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were also in attendance with their children, as were Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

“We want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, have unbelievable holidays, and we are now going to light a very beautiful tree,” Trump said at the event.

“And I’ll ask our First Lady to get ready and maybe we’ll do a countdown from 10.”

The First Lady then pressed the button to light up the tree in thousands of golden lights.

“On behalf of Melania, myself, Barron, all of my children, all of my grandchildren – they’re here with us tonight – I want to thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America,” Trump added.

“Thank you very much. Merry Christmas, everybody.”

Despite the festive excitement, social media users couldn’t help but notice a photo – which later went viral – which showed thousands of empty seats for the event.

However, it was later confirmed by the National Park Service that empty seats are extremely common for the event, as tickets are distributed to people around the whole country and there is no guarantee they will be able to make it ton Washington D.C .

According to Fox 5, an average of 12,000 to 15,000 people attend, despite 20,000 tickets being distributed.