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Where to watch the 2022 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony for free

Every Christmas brings several traditions that almost everyone experiences: shopping for impossible-to-find presents, traveling to see relatives you barely know or tolerate, watching live sports while digesting unhealthy food, and watching A Christmas Story on a constant, eternal loop.

For many Americans, watching the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington D.C. is one of the hallmarks of the holiday. Who doesn’t like watching a parade of performers, singers, and personalities gather around a tree in America’s capital? What makes this year’s lighting so special is that 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the beloved event.

How can you watch the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony for free?

Ariana DeBose sings with another performer at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. another performer at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony special is a broadcast television staple and includes not only the tree lighting ceremony, but also musical performances. The event will again be available for free for anyone who has a TV set, an antenna, and clear reception. The ceremony will be broadcast this year on CBS. Check your local listings for the correct channel.

Where is the ceremony streaming?

If you are a cord-cutter or prefer a streaming option, don’t worry! There are plenty of options. The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will stream on Paramount+.

While the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony may lure you to Paramount+, there are many more shows and movies available on the platform to make a subscription worth your while. Shows like The Good FightStar Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and The Twilight Zone and hit movies like The Lost City, Orphan: First Kill, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 are just a few of the titles that you won’t want to miss.

When can you watch it?

A Christmas tree stands next to the White House in the 2022 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony special will be broadcast on CBS and streamed live on Paramount+ at tonight at 8 p.m. ET. The program is scheduled to last two hours and end around 10 p.m. ET.

Watch the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Paramount+

Starting tomorrow, viewers can access the ceremony on and Paramount+ at any time to enjoy the performances and highlights (which include President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden officially lighting the giant Christmas tree) over and over again.

How much does it cost?

That depends on what kind of plan you prefer. To take advantage of the free trial, simply head to the Paramount+ website to sign up. Your first seven days will be free, but after the trial period, subscription plans start as low as $5 per month. That option (called “Essential”) comes with limited commercial interruptions. If you don’t want any ads, the Premium monthly subscription will cost you $10 a month.

You can save money if you commit to a one-year subscription. An Essential annual subscription is $50 a year, while a Premium annual subscription is $100. You can also bundle the Paramount+ subscription with a Showtime subscription for $12 a month or $120 a year. You can head over to the website for more info on all Paramount+ subscription plans.

Who will be at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony?

WATCH LIVE: Bidens join National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Washington, D.C.

A surprising number of stars and performers from all walks of life. The impressive guest list includes Academy Award-winning actress Ariana DeBose, Joss Stone, Andy Grammer, country music legend Shania Twain, The Estefans (including Gloria Estefan), Yolanda Adams, and “The President’s Own” United States Marching Band.

Walking us through this cavalcade of celebrities will be musician and NCIS: Los Angeles actor LL Cool J, who returns to host the event for a second time.

Get in the holiday spirit by watching the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony tonight!

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Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
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