WARNING: This post will contain absolutely no holiday celebrations whatsoever. It is provided solely in preparation for one single event. Under no circumstances should anyone misconstrue this and prematurely hum a Christmas jingle, hang decorations, or be jolly in any manner.
The National Park Service has announced lottery dates for the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. The lighting will be held on December 9th, 2010, at 5 pm. It's a festive event, with the President traditionally throwing the switch amidst the glowing lights and bleating horns of thousands of Maryland and Virginia commuters unaware of the surround streets rush hour shut downs. 3000 seated tickets and 10,000 standing are tickets will be given away. Results will be announced Wednesday, November 10th.
If you're going to be in the area, and don't know anyone who can get you tickets (I don't either, btw), you're going to have to go through the lottery system. It's a little complex, and the Park Service press release didn't exactly clear it up. Here's what you have to do. Starting this Friday, you may start to register at recreation.gov, and you have until the end of the day Sunday to do so. Now, as I understand it, this is simply the registration period, so there is no need to do this at the stroke of midnight; just get it done at some point.
Also, while we're on the topic, I'd like to point out how the Park Service let's you know that you can get a ticket "by going to www.thenationaltree.org and following the link to the online ticket lottery application page at www.recreation.gov." Why not just skip thenationaltree.org and type in recreation.gov? After all, it's not as if the Park Service had included links in there for you convenience. Come on guys, we're running out of 2010, let's get that web presence up and running, ok?
Now, back to eating your kids Halloween candy and planning your Thanksgiving dinner. Don't let me catch you with that tinsel, buddy!